Foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to gain in importance as a form of international economic transactions and as an instrument of international economic integration. However, despite its increasing importance, published sources or readily accessible databases that provide comparable and accurate data on this investment and other activities of TNCs are scarce. The World Investment Directory series of UNCTAD is an attempt to centralize in the United Nations data-gathering efforts to measure systematically FDI, the activities of TNCs and related variables. Accordingly, the purpose of the World Investment Directory and its database is to assemble comprehensive data and information on FDI, operations of TNCs, basic financial data on the largest TNCs, the legal framework in which such investment takes place and selected bibliographic information about FDI and TNCs in individual countries.
This publication covers 36 economies of Latin America and the Caribbean. Profiles
on all these countries are contained in this volume, based on data available to the Secretariat. All of these profiles were sent to respective governments for further comments and verification.
Data are presented on both inward and outward flows and stocks of FDI, operations of TNCs, and basic information on the largest TNCs in and from these countries and information on the regulatory framework affecting FDI, organized by country. The data on inward and outward FDI flows and stocks are based on information as of March 2004. It is UNCTAD´s intention to update the World Investment Directory series regularly, and it is hoped that as work progresses in this area increasing feedback from Governments and researchers will make it possible to enhance the data and information provided.