Overall global FDI declined last year with developed economies seeing a decrease in flows even as developing economies saw an increase.

 

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Even as the world saw improving GDP numbers and growth in trade, global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) fell by 16% in 2017 to an estimated $1.52 trillion. They stood at $1.81 trillion in 2016.

“FDI recovery continues to be on a bumpy road” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi. “While FDI in developing countries remained at a level similar to the previous year, more investment in sectors that can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals is still badly needed. Promoting FDI for sustainable development remains a challenge.”

Decrease in FDI flows to developed economies was a major reason for decline in overall global numbers. Both Europe and North America saw a decline in inflows at -27% and -33% respectively. FDI to developing economies remained stable at $653 billion and saw a 2% increase year-on-year. Investment flows to Latin America, the Caribbean and developing Asia rose marginally. FDI remained flat for Africa.

Despite the decrease, the United States received the lion’s share of global FDI at $311 billion followed by China that saw record inflows at $144 billion.

Take a look at the graphic below for the top 10 countries that received the most FDI in 2017. 

FDI Country List 2017
Source: UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor. All figures for 2017 are estimates.