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FDI-OECD: Global FDI Flows Rebound To Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels

29/10/2021 - OECD data and analysis show that global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rebounded in the first half of 2021 to reach USD 870 billion, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 43% and more than double those of the second half of 2020.


In the OECD area, FDI inflows increased to USD 421 billion, more than twice H2 2020 levels, as a result of significant growth in the vast majority of OECD countries. China was the major FDI recipient worldwide, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom.

  • Global FDI flows rebounded to USD 870 billion in the first half of 2021, more than double the flows recorded in the last half of 2020 and 43% higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

  • FDI inflows to the OECD area increased to USD 421 billion, twice as high the inflows recorded in 2020 and 30% higher than in 2019. Outflows from the OECD area increased four-fold compared to historically low levels reached in 2020 and were 75% higher than in 2019.

  • FDI inflows to non-OECD G20 countries increased by 12%, with the rebound evenly spread except for India which recorded high inflows in the second half of 2020. FDI outflows increased by 24%.

  • In the first half of 2021, China was the leading FDI recipient worldwide, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom.

  • OECD area equity capital inflows were up 21% in the first half of 2021, continuing a recovery that began in the second half of 2020. Several mergers and acquisitions in the first six months of the year contributed to the increase. OECD equity capital outflows also recovered from extremely low levels in the second half of 2020, up 75% up from 2019 levels.

  • OECD earnings on inward FDI increased by 30%, influenced by record-high levels in the United States and widespread increases in many other countries. Consecutive increases in reinvested earnings,particularly in the United States, further contributed to the recovery in total FDI flows.

  • Completed cross-border M&A deals in advanced economies were higher than pre-pandemic levels, signalling renewed investor confidence in deal-making. The rebound was not evenly spread, with completed M&A deal values dropping by 18% in emerging markets and developing economies.

  • Announced greenfield projects in emerging markets and developing economies continued to decline. By contrast, announced projects in advanced economies grew slightly by 9%, mostly in the healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

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