The UN Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report indicates that global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in 2011 surpassed the pre-crisis average – reaching $1.5-trillion, despite persistent uncertainty in the global economy. However, flows still remained more than 20% below their 2007 peak.
Slower FDI growth in 2012 was predicted, with flows leveling off at about $1.6-trillion. Longer-term projections show a moderate but steady rise, with global FDI reaching $1.8-trillion in 2013 and $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 $684-billion, up 11%. Transition economies saw flows increase by 25% to $92-billion. Flows to developed countries grew by 21%, 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.