Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to share with you a special issue of UNCTAD’s Global 
Investment Trends Monitor. This special issue is based on the annual ASEAN 
Investment Report, a joint report prepared by the UNCTAD and ASEAN 
Secretariat. The Report was launched during the ASEAN Business and 
Investment Summit on 13 November 2017 in Manila.

Selected highlights:

FDI flows in ASEAN fell by 20% in 2016, to $96.7 billion. The decline 
reflected the general fall in global FDI flows and in flows to developing 
economies. A significant drop in FDI in two Member States, caused mostly 
by one-off factors, dragged down total inflows to the region. 
Intra-ASEAN FDI rose to a record level ($24 billion) in 2016 and accounted 
– for the first time – for a quarter of total FDI flows in the region. 
Intraregional investment flows continued the upward trend since 2003 
(except for a blip in 2013).
The ASEAN region has more than 1,600 economic zones of various types. 
These economic zones have, on average, made a significant contribution to 
industrial development in ASEAN Member States. Most zones have helped 
improve the investment environment, generated employment (including for 
women), increased foreign exchange earnings and government revenues. They 
have often brought spillover effects in local economies, helped develop 
domestic contract manufacturers and played a significant role in linking 
countries in global value chains. 
While local development companies are the main contributors to economic 
zone build-up in ASEAN, foreign developers have also played an important 
role in the growth of economic zones in the region – often in JVs with 
local partners.
The preparation of the ASEAN Investment Report by UNCTAD’s Investment 
Division is part of its wider programme of collaboration on investment 
research and policy analysis with regional organisations. UNCTAD has also 
contributed to the Investment Report of the CEFTA (Central European Free 
Trade Agreement) region, which will be launched on 21 November 2017, in 
parallel with the launch of UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Review of the 
With best regards,

James X. Zhan
Director, Investment and Enterprise
Lead, World Investment Report
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Palais des Nations, Geneva
Tel: +41 22 917 5797