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January 25, 2021

UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor: Global Investment down 42% in 2020, Further Weakness expected in 2021.

UNCTAD has published its 38th Global Investment Trends Monitor.

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: Mia Mikic, speaking at UNCTAD’s Non-tariff Measures Week, held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. 14 October 2019. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: James Zhan, director of UNCTAD’s division on investment and enterprise. Speaking at the UNCTAD Investment and Enterprise Commission on 11 November 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: UNCTAD Debt Management Conference. UNCTAD held its 12th Debt Management Conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 20 November 2019. Photo: Jean-Philippe Escard (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD, Geneva

Photo: UNCTAD Centres of Excellence workshop. UNCTAD held its annual Centers of Excellence strategic meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. 29 October 2019. UNCTAD Centers of Excellence serve as network hubs for capacity building in the African and Asian regions. Photo: Tim Sullivan (UNCTAD).

Geneva, 25 January 2020 - Global foreign direct investment collapsed in 2020, falling by 42% to an estimated $859 billion from $1.5 trillion in 2019. FDI finished 2020, more than 30% below the trough after the global financial crisis in 2009 and back at a level last seen in the 1990s.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69% to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up entirely to -4 billion, including large negative flows in several countries. The United States recorded a sharp decrease (-49%) to $134 billion.

The relative decline in developing economies was -12% to an estimated $616 billion. The share of developing economies in global FDI reached 72% - the highest percentage on record. China topped the ranking of the largest FDI recipients.

The fall in FDI flows across developing regions was uneven, with -37% in Latin America and the Caribbean, -18% in Africa, and -4% in developing countries in Asia. East Asia was the largest host region, accounting for one-third of global FDI in 2020. FDI to transition economies declined by 77% to $13 billion.

• Trends in selected economies

FDI in the EU fell by two thirds, with significant declines in all the largest recipients; flows to the United Kingdom decreased to zero.

• FDI trend expected to remain weak in 2021

The FDI trend may remain weak in 2021. Data on an announcement basis, an indicator of trends, provides a mixed picture and point at continued downward pressure:

For developing countries, the trends in greenfield and project finance announcements constitute a significant concern.

Although overall FDI flows in developing economies appear relatively resilient, greenfield announcements fell by 46% (-63% in Africa; -51% in Latin America and the Caribbean, and -38% in Asia) and international project finance 7% (-40% in Africa).

These investment types are crucial for the productive capacity and infrastructure development and thus for sustainable recovery prospects.

Risks related to the latest pandemic wave, the pace of the roll-out of vaccination programs and economic support packages, fragile macroeconomic situations in major emerging markets, and uncertainty about the global policy environment for investment will all continue to affect FDI in 2021.

Source: UNCTAD

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 5:09 AM | Link to this Post

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