Foreign direct investment (FDI) has traditionally been defined as a physical investment into a country from a foreign entreprise - like the construction of an industrial building - but is also recognized as large-scale, long-term investment outside an investor's domestic economy. In this case, investors are most often multi-national corporations and investment firms.
Following the global economic crisis, the amount of investment capital shrank, with total global FDI inflows falling from the all time high of $1,979 billion in 2007 to $1,697 billion in 2008, according to the UNCTAD, a UN agency which tracks this information.
FDI inflows represent investment originating from foreign economies, while a country's FDI outflows represent a country's investments placed outside of its borders. A net positive FDI inflow indicates the potential for job creation and corporate expansion of the host country while a negative flow suggests more numerous and attractive investments exist outside the country.
So, which countries boast the biggest amount of foreign direct investment? Click ahead to find out!
By Paul Toscano
Posted 9 Oct 2009