Top 20 FDI recipients in the world in 2021 and 2022

The United States, China and Singapore were ranked as the top FDI recipients in the world in 2022, according to the World Investment Report 2023, released by UNCTAD.

The United States captured US$285 billion (-26.5% year-on-year), followed by China (US$189 billion, +4.4%) and Singapore (US$141 billion, +7.6 percent).

Global FDI inflows were $1.3 trillion, up 12% over 2021.

On the one hand, the 2022 decline in developed economies reflected financial market uncertainty and the winding down of stimulus packages, but the volatile nature of FDI flows in developed markets also continued to affect aggregate values.

In Europe, FDI totals were affected by fluctuations in the major conduit economies, as well as a large capital withdrawal by a multinational telecommunications company operating in Luxembourg.

On the other hand, the United States, where inflows fell by 26%, was influenced by a halving in the value of cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

While FDI flows to developing economies as a group increased, flows to developing Asia remained stable at US$662 billion.

Those to Latin America and the Caribbean rose 51% to $208 billion, a record level. And inflows to Africa fell 44% after the anomalous peak in 2021 caused by a major business reconfiguration in South Africa.

FDI recipients

Developing countries accounted for more than two-thirds of global FDI, up from 60% in 2021.

At the same time, the impacts of multidimensional crises, especially in food and energy, and financial and debt distress disproportionately affected investment flows to the poorest countries.

Flows to the least developed countries (LDCs) fell by 16%; they still account for only 2% of global FDI.

The number of investment projects (including greenfield projects and international project finance agreements) increased by 14% in 2022.

Although more projects were announced in developed countries, the share of developing economies approached 40%, compared to an average of 33% over the past two years.

Most regions, with the exception of East and Central Asia, saw an increase in new projects announced.


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