Dear AIB Members,
UNCTAD has published the
World Investment Report 2019.
The Report analyzes
global and regional foreign direct investment trends and
documents national and international investment policy developments.
In its theme chapter, the 2019 Report provides the global landscape of special economic zones (SEZs)
and offers a policy framework for addressing key emerging
Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows slid by 13% in 2018, to US$1.3 trillion – the third consecutive annual decline.
The contraction was largely precipitated by United States multinational enterprises repatriating earnings from abroad, making use of tax reforms. Hardest hit were developed countries, where flows fell
to the lowest level last seen in 2004.
Developing country flows managed to hold steady (rising by 2%), which helped push flows to the developing world to more than half (54%) of global flows, from 46% in 2017.
In 2019, FDI is expected to recover by around 10%, but the level of flows remains below the average of the past ten years.
New national investment policy measures show a more critical stands towards foreign investment, while international investment policy making is in a dynamic phase.
A new wave of industrial policies and increasing competition for international investment has sparked a boom in SEZs. Today there are
5,400 zones across 147 economies, up from 4,000 five years ago. More than 500 new SEZs are in the pipeline.
The report sets out a number of lessons
learned on the design, operation and governance of SEZs aimed at minimizing risks and maximizing the development impact of zones and preparing them for contributing positively to
the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of countries’ industrial base, and
adapt to the digital economy.
The 2030 Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides an opportunity for the development of SDG model zones,
to attract investment in SDG-relevant activities, adopt the highest levels of ESG standards and compliance, and promote inclusive growth through linkages and spill-overs.
UNCTAD will organize a panel to discuss the WIR 2019 at AIB Annual Conference. The panel will take place on the afternoon of 25 June. I look forward to meeting you in
Director, Investment and Enterprise
Lead, World Investment Report