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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

FDI surges globally, but emerging markets are lagging

Global foreign-direct investment (FDI) flows staged a strong comeback in 1H2021, jumping 78% y-o-y, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) latest Investment Trends Monitor (pdf). Global FDI during the first six months of the year sat at USD 852 bn — quickly approaching the USD 957 bn figure recording during all of last year. Global flows in 2020 dropped 42% from 2019 levels thanks to the pandemic.

Investor confidence in infrastructure played a significant role in FDI rebound, which the report attributed in part to recovery stimulus packages.

Developed economies are recovering just fine — but developing economies aren’t as lucky. Developed economies saw their FDI flows (not including cross-border M&A) soar 193% y-o-y, recording USD 424 bn in 1H2021 compared to a mere USD 290 bn during all of 2020. FDI flows to developing economies, meanwhile, is recovering at a much slower 28% y-o-y clip, recording USD 427 bn during the first six months of the year, in comparison to USD 667 bn during 2020.

Things aren’t looking as great for Africa, which only saw a 16% annual growth in FDI to record USD 23 bn during the half, in comparison to the USD 39 bn recorded during all of 2020. North Africa FDI remained flat year-on-year, recording USD 5 bn during 1H2021.

Where does Egypt stand? Egypt’s FDI for the most recent state fiscal year, ending on 30 June 2021, dipped 30% y-o-y to USD 5.2 bn from USD 7.5 bn, which the country’s most recent balance of payments attributed to continued blowback from the pandemic.

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