For use of information media - Not an official record

21 March 2003

FDI to and from the Netherlands declined for the second consecutive year in 2002, although at 714 billion guilders, inflows were still above the 1995-1999 average. The tertiary sector, and trade in particular, leads inward flows, with 60% of the total. Mining, quarrying and petroleum account for the largest share of inward stock; financial services are the most important sector on the outward side.

Another Western European country, Greece, reported climbing outflows but falling inflows last year, the latter down to $50.3 million. At $655.3 million, outflows only just exceeded 1999 and 2001 levels but fell short of the record set in 2000. The largest affiliates of foreign TNCs in Greece are in the tertiary sector, particularly trade, and originate mainly from other countries within the EU.

Five countries in Central and Eastern Europe registered growth in FDI in 2001, although to greatly varying degrees. Inflows to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia rose dramatically, from virtually nothing in 1997 to $140 million in 2000, and then almost tripled in 2001. The gain was largely due to investment flows from other countries in the region, mainly Hungary. The percentage of gross fixed capital formation accounted for by FDI has also climbed steeply, from a mere 4% in 1997 to 36% in 2000 and almost 80% in 2001. Outflows, however, are still extremely low, and were even negative in 2000 due mainly to divestment by Croatia.

A similarly dramatic picture emerges for Slovenia where, following three years of decline and stagnation, flows jumped suddenly in 2001 to $440 million, more than twice the 1999 levels. Main investment partners are Austria, France and Germany; almost half of the country´s outward investment is concentrated in one country, Croatia. The largest foreign affiliate operating in Slovenia is Revoz (France), in the motor vehicles industry.

Within Central and Eastern Europe, Estonia is much more important as an investor than as a host country, and this investor role has become increasingly prominent in recent years: in 2001, Estonia was the third biggest investor in the region, where it directs almost all of its investment. On the incoming side, Sweden and Finland are its two main investment partners, accounting for two thirds of the country´s FDI stock, although the US has also become important. Estonia´s inward stock doubled over 1998-2001, to about $540 million.

Flows to Republic of Moldova, by contrast, were the lowest in the region in 2001 -- $150 million. These flows play a significant role in the nation´s economy: the ratio of FDI flows to gross fixed capital formation was 74% in 2001, compared with 22% worldwide and an 18% average for the Central and Eastern European countries as a whole. The EU is a major investment partner, although US TNC affiliates predominate in the industrial and tertiary (non-financial) sectors.

Serbia and Montenegro also reported flows of about $150 million in 2001. This represented a modest recovery from the significant drop recorded in 2000, but is still the second lowest such amount in Central and Eastern Europe. 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 (www.unctad.org/dite).

Or contact:
Officer-in-Charge, Mr. Masataka Fujita, Investment Trends Section, T: +41 22 907 6217, F: +41 22 907 0194, E: masataka.fujita@unctad.org,
Ms. Katja Weigl, T: +41 22 907 5846, E: katja.weigl@unctad.org
UNCTAD Press Office, T: +41 22 907 5828, E: press@unctad.org.


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