Dear Members of the World Investment Network,
It is my pleasure to share with you a new
UNCTAD product: Investment
Without proper information and data on foreign
direct investment (FDI) it is difficult for countries to formulate sound
investment policies conducive to sustainable development, or to analyze
countries' participation in global and regional economies.
Investment Country Profiles present several
indicators at the country level: inward and outward FDI flows and stocks,
the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) and their foreign affiliates,
and basic information on the largest TNCs both in and from the profile
Let me present some highlights from the
first six Investment Country Profiles of Switzerland,
Republic and Latvia.
- Switzerland is a significant
host country for FDI but also a major outward investor with an outward
stock in 2010 of more than $900 billion, making it the fourth largest European
source country of FDI, after the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Its
TNCs currently employ 2.6 million people abroad.
- The stock of inward and outward FDI in Finland
has consistently grown in importance for the economy, from 4 per cent of
GDP in 1990 to 35 per cent of GDP in 2010.
- Despite the small size of its national economy,
the inward FDI stock of Estonia is sizeable ($16 billion).
This is mainly due to major market reforms, investment liberalization,
and a privatization process open to foreign investors. With an outward
FDI stock of $5.8 billion, Estonia had the second highest outward stock
per capita (after Cyprus) among all new EU member countries in 2010.
- With an open economy and an investor-friendly
tax system, Latvia has attracted a large amount of
inward FDI relative to the size of its economy. At the end of 2010, its
inward FDI stock reached $10.8 billion, equivalent to about 45 per cent
of the gross domestic product.
- Lithuania has attracted
relatively modest foreign investment, despite its membership of the EU.
At the end of 2010, its inward FDI stock totaled $13.4 billion. Like Latvia,
but unlike Estonia, the outward FDI stock was comparatively small at $2.1
- The Czech Republic
continues to be a magnet for FDI in the enlarged EU. In 2010, its inward
FDI stock reached $130 billion - an amount equivalent to two thirds of
Investment Country Profiles, which we will
publish regularly, are aimed at policymakers, researchers, intergovernmental
and non-governmental organizations and decision makers in the private sector,
who need up-to-date information on the patterns and trends of FDI and TNC
activity at the country level.
The next Investment Country Profiles will
include Argentina, Turkey, Italy, Greece, France, Ukraine, Tunisia and
James X. Zhan
Investment & Enterprise
United Nations Conference
on Trade & Development
Palais des Nations, Geneva
Tel: +41 22 9175797
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