Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to share with you UNCTAD’s Global Investment Prospects 
Assessment 2016–2018. 

Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are expected to decline by 
10–15 per cent in 2016, reflecting the fragility of the global economy and 
the persistent weakness of aggregate demand, sluggish growth in some 
commodity exporting countries and a slump in multinational enterprises 
(MNE) profits in 2015. Over the medium term, global FDI flows are 
projected to resume growth in 2017 and to surpass $1.8 trillion in 2018, 
but they will remain lower than the pre-crisis peak. 
FDI prospects remain muted in most regions, although there are some bright 
spots. FDI inflows to Africa are likely to return to a growth path as a 
result of liberalization measures and planned privatizations. Flows to 
developing Asia are expected to decline in 2016 by about 15 per cent, 
returning to 2014 levels. Latin America and the Caribbean may see their 
FDI slow down further in 2016 as challenging macroeconomic conditions 
persist. After the significant decline recorded in 2015, FDI flows to 
transition economies are expected to increase modestly in 2016. The 
recovery of FDI activity in developed economies recorded in 2015 is 
unlikely to be sustained in 2016. 
Diverging trends in FDI prospects of some megagroupings. UNCTAD forecasts 
that FDI flows to G20 members could decline by 5 to 10 per cent in 2016, 
falling to $830–880 billion. FDI flows to APEC members are expected to 
fall by 15 to 20 per cent to $760–810 billion, reverting to normal 
patterns after unusually high expansion in a number of economies in 2015. 
Flows to BRICS countries could return to growth, increasing by an average 
of 10 per cent to $270–290 billion.
Overall, expectations about short term FDI flows are best described as 
mildly pessimistic with flows declining in both developing and developed 

An in-depth analysis of global, regional and country level FDI trends, is 
available in the World Investment Report 2016. 

Best regards,

James X. Zhan
Director, Investment & Enterprise
Team Leader, World Investment Report
United Nations Conference on Trade & Development
Palais des Nations, Geneva (World Investment Reports)