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Foreign direct investment and its drivers: a global and EU perspective

Carril-Caccia, Federico and Elena Pavlova

Economic Bulletin Articles, 2018, vol. 4

Abstract: The relevance of foreign direct investment (FDI) as a source of economic activity has increased rapidly over the last decade. Between 2000 and 2016 the share of FDI stock in global GDP increased from 22% to 35%. Following a decline during the Great Recession, mergers and acquisitions (M&As), the most dynamic component of FDI, have recovered, reaching a record value of USD 1.2 trillion in the first quarter of 2018. The intensification of FDI activity has important implications for both origin and destination countries in terms of, for example, economic growth, productivity, wages and employment. Moreover, the expansion of multinational enterprises (MNEs) has been accompanied by the creation of complex cross-border production chains, which also has important implications. This article presents several findings regarding the main developments in and determinants of FDI over the past decade, at both global and EU level. Since the beginning of the 2000s there has been a gradual shift in the global FDI landscape, with emerging market economies (EMEs) gaining in prominence both as a source of and as a destination for such investment. EMEs have attracted a growing share of FDI flows, reaching more than 50% of the world’s total inward FDI in 2013. In addition, FDI flows are dominated by a relatively small number of M&As. In 2016 M&As with a value in excess of USD 1 billion accounted for only 1% of all FDI projects, but they generated 55% of total FDI flows. Moreover, evidence suggests that FDI and exports are not competing but complementary strategies for serving foreign markets. Finally, since 2008 EU countries are no longer the world’s main FDI investors and recipients. Nevertheless, econometric analysis shows that belonging to the EU dramatically boosts FDI flows in member countries. JEL Classification: F21, F23

Keywords: capital flows; globalisation; international factor movements; multinational firm (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-06
Note: 2596456
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