According to World Investment Report 2020 drawn by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), FDI flows this year would stay below 1 trillion U.S. dollars for the first time in 15 years.
Although the impact is severe everywhere, developing economies are projected to see the biggest fall in FDI, said James Zhan, UNCTAD's director of investment and enterprise, as developing economies rely more on investment in global-value-chain-intensive and extractive industries which have been severely hit, and are unable to carry out the same economic support measures as developed economies.
The report showed that the global FDI flows rose moderately in 2019, 3 percent up to 1.54 trillion dollars, after the sizable declines documented in 2017 and 2018.
In 2019, as the impact of the 2017 tax reforms in the United States abated, the FDI flows to developed economies increased 5 percent, at 800 billion dollars. Although at a 3 percent decline, the United States remains the largest recipient of FDI flows, receiving 246 billion dollars.
Despite the 5 percent decline in FDI flows to developing economies in Asia to 474 billion dollars, Asia absorbed more than 30 percent of global FDI in 2019.
Facing trade tensions, China still received an all-time high FDI inflow of 141 billion dollars, remaining the second largest FDI recipient.
The report predicted with the global value chain heading toward resilience, capital stock increasing and the global economy regaining, global FDI would experience a gradual U-shape recovery.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi alerted the outlook of global FDI is highly uncertain, which depends on the duration of the health crisis and the effectiveness of policies mitigating the pandemic's economic effects.