Global Investment Trend Monitor, No. 38

  • Global foreign direct investment (FDI) collapsed in 2020, falling by 42% to an estimated $859 billion, from $1.5 trillion in 2019 (figure 1). FDI finished 2020 more than 30% below the trough after the global financial crisis in 2009 and back at a level last seen in the 1990s.
  • The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69% to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.
  • The decline in developing economies was relatively measured at -12% to an estimated $616 billion. The share of developing economies in global FDI reached 72% – the highest share on record. China topped the ranking of the largest FDI recipients.
  • The fall in FDI flows across developing regions was uneven, with -37% in Latin America and the Caribbean, -18% in Africa and -4% in developing Asia. East Asia was the largest host region, accounting for one-third of global FDI in 2020. FDI to the transition economies declined by 77% to $13 billion.
Global Investment Trends Monitor, No. 38 (UNCTAD/DIAE/IA/INF/2021/1)
24 Jan 2021
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Global Investment Trends Monitor, No. 38 (Highlights) (UNCTAD/DIAE/IA/INF/2021/1 (Highlights))
24 Jan 2021