The FDI Regulatory Restrictiveness Index (FDI Index) measures statutory restrictions on foreign direct investment in 22 economic sectors across 69 countries, including all OECD and G20 countries. The FDI Index is also available for many countries for the following years: 1997, 2003, 2006, 2010-2018.
The FDI Index is not a full measure of a country’s investment climate. A range of other factors come into play, including how FDI rules are implemented. Entry barriers can also arise for other reasons, including state ownership in key sectors. A country’s ability to attract FDI will be affected by factors such as the size of its market, the extent of its integration with neighbours and even geography.
Nonetheless, FDI rules are a critical determinant of a country’s attractiveness to foreign investors. Furthermore, unlike geography, FDI rules are something over which governments have control. FDI restrictions tend to arise mostly in primary sectors such as mining, fishing and agriculture, but also in media and transport.
How OECD investment instruments promote greater openness
The Codes of Liberalisation of Capital Movements and Current Invisible Operations are legally binding for OECD countries, stipulating the right of establishment and progressive, non-discriminatory liberalisation of capital movements and international financial and other services. The approach of the Codes involves unilateral rather than negotiated liberalisation. Their observance makes full use of the OECD’s “peer pressure” method.
In parallel, under the National Treatment instrument, countries agree not to discriminate against foreign investors established on their territory.