Execs Reevaluating Foreign Investment

With the prospect of a stagnant world economy in 1999, it should not be a surprise that CEOs, CFOs, and other senior corporate executives are growing more cautious about foreign direct investment (FDI). "Corporations are looking more carefully at business environment fundamentals," says Paul A. Laudicina, a vice president of Chicago-based A.T. Kearney Inc. and managing director of its Global Business Policy Council -- which recently surveyed senior executives in 130 of the world's largest companies. Russia and Indonesia, for example, are no longer among the top 25 locations on the council's latest FDI Confidence Index, while such highly industrialized nations as the U.S. and the UK remain in the top five. During the last six months political, macroeconomic, and regulatory stability have grown relatively more important as FDI decision factors.

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