UNCTAD World Investment Report 2012 launched

05 July 2012

UNCTAD's flagship publication, World Investment Report 2012: Towards a New Generation of Investment Policies, was launched today in Geneva by Dr. James Zhan, Director of the Investment and Enterprise Division, as well as by staff and collaborators worldwide. UNCTAD Secretary-General, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi will present the Report at a roundtable in London tomorrow.

The Report indicates that global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in 2011 surpassed the pre-crisis average – reaching US$1.5 trillion, despite persistent uncertainty in the global economy. However, flows still remained more than 20 per cent below their 2007 peak.

Slower FDI growth in 2012 was predicted, with flows leveling off at about US$1.6 trillion. Longer-term projections show a moderate but steady rise, with global FDI reaching US$1.8 trillion in 2013 and US$1.9 trillion in 2014, barring any macro-economic shocks.

FDI inflows in 2011 increased across all major economic regions. Flows to developing countries reached a record US$684 billion, up 11 per cent. Transition economies saw flows increase by 25 per cent to US$92 billion. Flows to developed countries grew by 21 per cent, but were still a quarter below the level of the pre-crisis average. However, FDI recession continued in Africa and LDCs.

The Report contains detailed analysis of global and regional investment trends, national policy developments and the special topic on the new generation of investment policies. The Report contains a comprehensive investment policy framework for sustainable development, which provides detailed guidelines for national and international investment policymaking.

The Report also suggests that investment policy-making is at a cross-road, reflected by intensified review and revision of existing national and international investment regimes. Many countries continue to liberalize and promote foreign investment. At the same time, new regulatory and control measures are introduced, although often in pursuit of other policy objectives, such as industrial policy.