According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s World Investment Prospects Survey (WIPS) 2008-2010, the percentage of companies planning large increases in investment overseas over the next three years has dropped significantly from 2007.

The annual WIPS survey, carried out in conjunction with the World Investment Report 2008, is based on 226 responses to queries sent to the world’s largest multinational firms. The study found the majority of companies surveyed still plan to increase their international investment expenditures, though at a more moderate level, over the next three years due to a persistent trend towards internationalisation.

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Emerging economies top the list of most attractive investment destinations, representing four of the top five most attractive destinations for future foreign investment. The ranking of China, India, the US, Russia and Brazil remains unchanged from last year’s survey, although Russia and Brazil have caught up in attractiveness.

Among the top 15 destination countries, Vietnam again ranks sixth; Germany and Indonesia have improved to seventh and eighth, respectively; and Australia, the UK, Poland, and France have fallen slightly in the rankings but remain in the top 15. Newcomers to the top 15 are South Africa, Canada, and Turkey.

Market growth, market size and access to international and regional markets are by far the most important factors influencing companies’ choices of investment location.