Dear Members of the World Investment Network,

It is my pleasure to share with you eight new
Investment Country Profiles: Argentina, Turkey, Italy, Greece, France, Ukraine, Tunisia and South Africa. Let me present some highlights from these profiles:

Argentina has attracted significant amounts of FDI since the economic liberalization and FDI facilitation policies implemented in the early 1990s. In the 1990-2000 period, FDI was fuelled by investments mainly in oil and gas and service industries, driven by the opening up of large sectors to foreign ownership and by a vast privatization programme. From 2004, following three years of decline due to the country's economic and financial crisis, FDI flows resumed their growth mainly due to increasing share of reinvested earnings.

After a period of sluggish growth lasting until 2000,
Turkey has experienced a substantial increase in both inward and outward FDI. Its inward FDI stock increased from $20 billion in 2001 to $186 billion in 2010 a volume equivalent to one quarter of the country's GDP. FDI inflows reached an annual average of $15 billion during 2005-2010 from $2 billion through 2000-2004. The recent surge in FDI inflows is due to privatizations in sectors such as energy, telecommunications and banking and to the strong growth of the economy.

Italy's stock of outward FDI reached half a trillion dollar in 2010, while its inward stock attained $332 billion. However, compared to most of the other major EU countries, Italy is underperforming in its FDI attraction related to the size of its economy: while Italy accounted for 13 per cent of the EU’s GDP in 2010, its outward stock was 5.3 per cent and its inward stock was 4.9 per cent of the EU’s totals.

Greece has attracted a relatively small amount of FDI compared to other countries in EU. In 2010, its share in the EU’s FDI stock was less than 0.5 per cent. Greece’s inward FDI stock exceeded its outward stock throughout the last decade, but in 2009 and 2010, its outward stock overtook inward stock due to the decline in the market value of assets in Greece.

FDI outward stock from
France reached $1.5 trillion compared to an inward stock of $1 trillion. In the context of EU, the size of both inward and outward FDI stocks of France is largely in line with the size of its economy, which is one of the important FDI determinants: in 2010, while France accounted for 16 per cent of the EU’s GDP, its shares of outward and inward stocks in the EU’s totals were 17 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

Despite its sizable relatively large market,
Ukraine's performance in attracting FDI has been below its potential. In 2010 its inward FDI stock reached $58 billion ─ a volume equivalent to 42 percent of the GDP, lower than other neighbouring countries. The FDI outward stock of the country also remained modest ─ $8 billion. During the financial and economic crisis, FDI inflows dropped to roughly $5 billion in 2009 as Ukraine was one of the countries worst hit by the crisis. In 2010, however, FDI flows rose to $6.5 billion, though short of the record level of 2008.

Tunisia's inward FDI stock in 2010 reached $30 billion, an amount equivalent to 78 per cent of its GDP. Like other countries in Africa, FDI inflows to Tunisia have been on a downward trend since 2008. The primary sector accounted for the bulk of inward FDI flows in Tunisia with petroleum industry alone accounting for over 60 per cent of the total inflows in 2010.

In 2010,
South Africa’s inward FDI stock reached $153 billion a volume equivalent to 42 per cent of its GDP. After reaching a peak $9 billion in 2008 driven by the resource boom, FDI inflows declined to $5.4 billion and $1.3 billion respectively in 2009 and 2010. FDI inflows to South Africa have traditionally been volatile, mainly due to the high share of mergers and acquisitions in inward investment, often including mega deals.

Investment Country Profiles, which we 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 Chile, Croatia, Jordan, Mexico, Oman, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.

Best regards,

James X. Zhan
Investment & Enterprise Division
United Nations Conference on Trade & Development
Palais des Nations, Geneva
Tel: +41 22 9175797

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