For use of information media - Not an official record

23 May 2003

FDI flows into Italy last year defied the general downward trend, climbing 2% and continuing a rise that began in 1998. The country is now a net outward investor, with its outward FDI stock increasing sixfold between 1990 and 2001. Italian FDI stock, both inward and outward, is regionally diversified; the top three investors are France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The ratio of FDI stock to GDP is relatively low, suggesting a potential for further investment.

In Canada, both inflows and outflows dropped last year by about 20%, although they were above the average 1997-1999 levels. While 90% of inflows originate in the United States, outflows are more diversified, with the US receiving some 62% of the total in 2001.

Like Italy, Canada has also become a net outward investor; its outward FDI stock increased four and a half times from 1990 to 2002. Financial services are the most important industry for both inward and outward stock. In contrast to Italy, Canada´s ratio of FDI stock to GDP is significant and continues to increase, from about 20% of inward stock a decade ago to 30% in 2000.

National investment profiles are being published online as they become available, based on each country´s reporting schedules. The profiles, which are part of UNCTAD´s World Investment Directory, provide quick electronic access to the latest statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) and the operations of transnational corporations (TNCs). They include statistical definitions and sources, a listing of relevant national laws and regulations, information on bilateral and multilateral agreements and a bibliography.

For more information, please visit the Division on Investment, Technology and Enterprise Development website.

Or contact:
Masataka Fujita, Officer-in-Charge, Investment Trends Section, T: +41 22 907 6217, F: +41 22 907 0194, E:;
Katja Weigl, T: +41 22 907 5846, E:;
UNCTAD Press Office, T: +41 22 907 5828, E:


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