The ASEAN Investment Report is an annual report analysing investment and related issues in ASEAN. It is prepared under a technical cooperation arrangement between the ASEAN Secretariat and UNCTAD, supported by the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in ASEAN, an engine of global FDI growth for the past decade, fell by 25 per cent from its all-time high of $182 billion in 2019 to $137 billion in 2020 because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were a few bright spots: Investment in some ASEAN Member States rose or were flat. Despite the decline, ASEAN remained an attractive investment destination, with its share of global FDI rising from 11.9 per cent in 2019 to 13.7 per cent in 2020. Investment within ASEAN was resilient, rising by 5 per cent to $23 billion, pushing up the intra-ASEAN share of FDI in the region from 12 to 17 per cent.
Major developments are shaping the FDI landscape and post-pandemic recovery. They include the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement in November 2020 and the push for investment in infrastructure by the Member States.
This year’s ASEAN Investment Report features the role of FDI in Industry 4.0 transformation in the region, and how Member States are attracting Industry 4.0 technologies to step up industrialisation and economic development. The Report highlights the symbiotic relationship between Industry 4.0 and the FDI environment. It provides policy options going forward to attract FDI to support the digital transformation. The report was launched at the ASEAN Investment Area Ministerial Council Meeting (held virtually) on 8 September 2021 in Brunei Darussalam.