Emerging economies prominent in latest UN investment report

Raleigh Addington
Raleigh Addington
editor at Chartwell Speakers

This week, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published its annual World Investment Report for 2011. The figures make interesting reading as the report outlines trends in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) across all regions of the global economy.

The top 10 economies receiving FDI inflows over 2010 were (all figures in billions of dollars):

  1. USA – 228 (153 in 2009)
  2. China – 106 (95)
  3. Hong Kong, China – 69 (52)
  4. Belgium – 62 (24)
  5. Brazil – 48 (26)
  6. Germany – 46 (38)
  7. UK – 46 (71)
  8. Russia – 41 (36)
  9. Singapore – 39 (15)
  10. France – 34 (34)

India was 14th with Spain 15th. The list confirms the increasing influence of emerging nations, as half of the top 20 host economies were from developing and transition economies, compared to seven in 2009.

In addition, three developing economies ranked among the five largest FDI recipients in the world. While the United States and China maintained their top position, some European countries moved down in the ranking. Indonesia entered the top 20 for the first time.

Key points from the report:

  • Global FDI flows rose moderately to $1.24 trillion in 2010, but were still 15 per cent below their pre-crisis average..
  • Inflows to China, the largest recipient of FDI in the developing world, climbed by 11 per cent, to $106 billion.
  • In 2010, FDI inflows in developed countries declined marginally. The pattern of FDI inflows was uneven among subregions: Europe suffered a sharp fall and declining FDI flows were also registered in Japan.
  • Inflows to the United States, however, showed a strong turnaround, with an increase of more than 40 per cent over 2010.