“The new year is always a challenging time for both reflecting and forecasting, and that seems especially true right now given global political uncertainty and the barrage of contradictory data that seems to emerge weekly. This applies to the complex interplay of stories and statistics regarding tariffs, trade, taxes and FDI.
The latest Investment Trends Monitor from Unctad shows an overall negative trend for FDI in 2018, declining 19% on a global basis. That makes three consecutive years of reduced international greenfield investment and a return to levels not seen since 2009. Falling FDI was felt most in so-called developed economies – down 40% overall in 2018 – and the US saw an 18% drop of inbound FDI.
More interesting than the year-to-year gyrations of FDI are broader, structural trends that are emerging. A recent report from McKinsey Global Institute describes a global business and trade environment that is becoming more domestic, more regional, more restrictive, more service-oriented and more digital. How these changes will influence corporate investment behaviour and overall FDI flow will take time to understand and extend well beyond this new year.”
Read the full fDi Magazine article titled View from the Americas: How the past informs the future