Greenfield FDI Index Ranks Southeast European Economies

The Serbian economy again put in a strong showing in the 2021 Greenfield Performance Index, ranking sixth worldwide and first in southeastern Europe. 

The Greenfield Performance Index ranks countries according to the foreign direct investment they attract, excluding retail investments, mergers and acquisitions, intra-company loans, or other types of cross-border investment.

Serbia continues to attract more FDI than any other country in southeastern Europe with a score of 4.82, with Croatia coming in at 2.82, Romania 3.10, Bulgaria at 2.66, and Slovenia at 1.52.

According to the Greenfield FDI Index methodology, a score of 1.0 indicates a country is attracting greenfield FDI commensurate to the size of its global gross domestic product (GDP). Scores higher than 1.0 indicate greater levels of FDI, and scores lower than 1.0 indicate lower levels. Thus, Serbia is attracting almost five times as much investment as should be expected for an economy of its size.   

Only countries that received ten or more greenfield investments in 2020 are ranked in the index. 

For a number of years, southeastern Europe has been attracting high levels of greenfield investment. In the 2019 Greenfield Performance Index, Serbia came in at number 1 globally with Montenegro directly behind at number 2, with respective scores of 11.92 for 107 FDI projects in 2018, and 11.49 (for 11 FDI projects in 2018). 

Bosnia & Herzegovina was ranked fifteenth globally with a score of 4.83 (representing 17 FDI projects in 2018); Bulgaria 4.69 (54 FDI projects in 2018); North Macedonia was ranked 18th globally with a score of 4.45 (10 FDI projects in 2018); and Romania ranked 24th globally at 3.48 (148 projects).