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The 20 countries with the highest FDI in 2023

The United States, China and Singapore were the countries with the highest FDI in 2023, according to UNCTAD.Globally, FDI inflows were $1.33 trillion in 2023, down 2% year-on-year.These were the leading economies by FDI arrivals and investments measured in billions of dollars:

  • United States (311).
  • China (163).
  • Singapore (160).
  • Hong Kong (113).
  • Brazil (66).

Countries with the highest FDI

According to UNCTAD, greenfield project announcements increased marginally, both in terms of number and value. The growth was largely due to higher announcements in manufacturing industries, in a break with a decade-long trend of gradual decline in the sector. Announcements of manufacturing projects by Chinese companies were a major contributing factor, and increases in new investment occurred only in developing countries, where the number of announced projects rose 15 percent. In contrast, in developed countries, new project announcements declined by 6 percent. 

Assets

The divergent movements in greenfield projects and international project finance deals reflect the different drivers of investment in international production and industry (greenfield), on the one hand, and in infrastructure industries (project finance), on the other. They also reflect the sensitivity of different investor groups to current financial conditions. Multinational companies have made large profits in recent years, which has increased their ability to finance asset expansions, which also explains the increase in the number of start-ups. Project financing is more dependent on institutional investors and debt financing, which are more sensitive to capital costs and financial market trends. Higher interest rates can also lead governments to delay large projects while they wait for more favorable conditions.Multinational companiesUNCTAD indicated that Europe and North America have emerged as top destinations – as might be expected, given that most of the multinational companies in the ranking are from the United States (19), Europe (53) and Japan (10) – with Central America (including Mexico – so ranked by UNCTAD), North Africa and West and Central Asia also gaining traction.