Singapore, Hong Kong and Finland have topped a global ranking of counties offering the best opportunity for investment. The Global Opportunity Index, published by US-based think tank the Milken Institute, ranks 136 countries across four categories: economic fundamentals, ease of doing business, quality of regulation, and rule of law. 

Singapore, Hong Kong, and Finland claimed the top three positions in the ranking, while the major economies of Germany and the US are tied at number 18, behind such countries as the Netherlands, Estonia and Iceland. Other high-ranking countries included New Zealand (number 4), Sweden (5), Canada (6), Norway (7), the UK (8), Ireland (9) and Malaysia (10).  

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From 2009 to 2015, there was a slight decline among many advanced economies and mainly positive changes among developing countries, according to a report on the index, highlighting the hit that developed markets took during the financial crisis, as well as continuing reforms in developing countries. But Malaysia is the only developing country to appear among the top 10; it scored particularly well in rule of law.

In Latin America, countries with improving scores – including Chile, Uruguay, Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador – outnumbered decliners by a margin of two to one. Six sub-Saharan countries in Africa appear in the top half of the index: Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana, Rwanda, Namibia and Zambia.

“The higher the country scores in the index, the greater the inflow of FDI. With the pending normalisation of monetary policy by developed countries, it will be more important than ever that developing countries are attractive places for investment,” commented Institute economist Heather Wickramarachi, co-author of the report.