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Countries with the Most Foreign Direct Investment

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The Most Foreign Direct Investment

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 t
Source: UNCTAD

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

15. Singapore

Inflow: $22.73 billion (1.3% of world total)Outflow: $8.93 billion (0.48% of world total)Inflow: $31.55 billion (1.6% of world total)Outflow: $24.56 billion (1.1% of world total)Pictured: Street scene with Convention Center towers seen through slight haze, Singapore
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $22.73 billion (1.3% of world total)
Outflow: $8.93 billion (0.48% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $31.55 billion (1.6% of world total)
Outflow: $24.56 billion (1.1% of world total)

Pictured: Street scene with Convention Center towers seen through slight haze, Singapore

14. Japan

Inflow: $24.43 billion (1.4% of world total)Outflow: $128.02 billion (6.9% of world total)Inflow: $22.55 billion (1.1% of world total)Outflow: $73.55 billion (3.4% of world total)Pictured: Workers at Snow Brand Milk Products Company factory
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $24.43 billion (1.4% of world total)
Outflow: $128.02 billion (6.9% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $22.55 billion (1.1% of world total)
Outflow: $73.55 billion (3.4% of world total)

Pictured: Workers at Snow Brand Milk Products Company factory

13. Germany

Inflow: $24.94 billion (1.5% of world total)Outflow: $156.46 billion (8.4% of world total)Inflow: $56.41 billion (2.9% of world total)Outflow: $179.55 billion (8.4% of world total)Pictured: Airbus factory in Nordenham, northern Germany.
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $24.94 billion (1.5% of world total)
Outflow: $156.46 billion (8.4% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $56.41 billion (2.9% of world total)
Outflow: $179.55 billion (8.4% of world total)

Pictured: Airbus factory in Nordenham, northern Germany.

12. Sweden

Inflow: $43.66 billion (2.6% of world total)Outflow: $37.351 billion (2% of world total)Inflow: $22.07 billion (1.1% of world total)Outflow: $37.80 billion (1.8% of world total)Pictured: Customer shops for meat in market, Stockholm, Sweden.
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $43.66 billion (2.6% of world total)
Outflow: $37.351 billion (2% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $22.07 billion (1.1% of world total)
Outflow: $37.80 billion (1.8% of world total)

Pictured: Customer shops for meat in market, Stockholm, Sweden.

11. Canada

Inflow: $44.71 billion (2.6% of world total)Outflow: $77.67 billion (4.2% of world total)Inflow: $108.41 billion (5.5% of world total)Outflow: $59.64 billion (2.8% of world total)Pictured: Ford Motors St. Thomas assembly plant, Ontario, Canada
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $44.71 billion (2.6% of world total)
Outflow: $77.67 billion (4.2% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $108.41 billion (5.5% of world total)
Outflow: $59.64 billion (2.8% of world total)

Pictured: Ford Motors St. Thomas assembly plant, Ontario, Canada

10. Brazil

Inflow: $45.06 billion (2.7% of world total)Outflow: $20.46 billion (1.1% of world total)Inflow: $34.59 billion (1.7% of world total)Outflow: $7.07 billion (0.33% of world total)Pictured: Workers carry plywood at a factory, Curitiba, Brazil
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $45.06 billion (2.7% of world total)
Outflow: $20.46 billion (1.1% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $34.59 billion (1.7% of world total)
Outflow: $7.07 billion (0.33% of world total)

Pictured: Workers carry plywood at a factory, Curitiba, Brazil

9. Australia

Inflow: $46.77 billion (2.8% of world total)Outflow: $35.93 billion (1.9% of world total)Inflow: $44.33 billion (2.2% of world total)Outflow: $16.81 billion (0.78% of world total)Pictured: Farmer watches Merino sheep during muster, Young, Australia
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $46.77 billion (2.8% of world total)
Outflow: $35.93 billion (1.9% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $44.33 billion (2.2% of world total)
Outflow: $16.81 billion (0.78% of world total)

Pictured: Farmer watches Merino sheep during muster, Young, Australia

8. Belgium

Inflow: $59.68 billion (3.5% of world total)Outflow: $68.79 billion (3.7% of world total)Inflow: $110.77 billion (5.6% of world total)Outflow: $93.90 billion (4.4% of world total)Pictured: Windmills at the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.
Photo: Hans Hillewaert // Wikimedia Commons

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $59.68 billion (3.5% of world total)
Outflow: $68.79 billion (3.7% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $110.77 billion (5.6% of world total)
Outflow: $93.90 billion (4.4% of world total)

Pictured: Windmills at the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.

7. Hong Kong

Inflow: $63 billion (3.7% of world total)Outflow: $59.92 billion (3.2% of world total)Inflow: $54.37 billion (2.7% of world total)Outflow: $61.12 billion (2.8% of world total)Pictured: Motorola Semiconductor workers leave factory at end of work day, Hong Kong
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $63 billion (3.7% of world total)
Outflow: $59.92 billion (3.2% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $54.37 billion (2.7% of world total)
Outflow: $61.12 billion (2.8% of world total)

Pictured: Motorola Semiconductor workers leave factory at end of work day, Hong Kong

6. Spain

2008 FDI StatisticsInflow: $65.54 billion (3.9% of world total)Outflow: $77.32 billion (4.2% of world total)2007 FDI StatisticsInflow: $28.18 billion (1.4% of world total)Outflow: $96.06 billion (4.5% of world total)Pictured: Madrid Stock Exchange, Madrid, Spain
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $65.54 billion (3.9% of world total)
Outflow: $77.32 billion (4.2% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $28.18 billion (1.4% of world total)
Outflow: $96.06 billion (4.5% of world total)

Pictured: Madrid Stock Exchange, Madrid, Spain

5. Russian Federation

Inflow: $70.32 billion (4.1% of world total)Outflow: $52.39 billion (2.8% of world total)Inflow: $55.07 billion (2.8% of world total)Outflow: $45.92 billion (2.1% of world total)Pictured: Renault Logan cars on production line at Avtoframos automobile plant in Moscow, Russia.
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $70.32 billion (4.1% of world total)
Outflow: $52.39 billion (2.8% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $55.07 billion (2.8% of world total)
Outflow: $45.92 billion (2.1% of world total)

Pictured: Renault Logan cars on production line at Avtoframos automobile plant in Moscow, Russia.

4. United Kingdom

Inflow: $96.94 billion (5.7% of world total)Outflow: $111.41 billion (6% of world total)Inflow: $183.39 billion (9.3% of world total)Outflow: $275.48 billion (12.8% of world total)Pictured: Sign at London Stock Exchange, England
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $96.94 billion (5.7% of world total)
Outflow: $111.41 billion (6% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $183.39 billion (9.3% of world total)
Outflow: $275.48 billion (12.8% of world total)

Pictured: Sign at London Stock Exchange, England

3. China

Inflow: $108.31 billion (6.4% of world total)Outflow: $52.15 billion (2.8% of world total)Inflow: $83.52 billion (4.2% of world total)Outflow: $22.47 billion (1% of world total)Pictured: Worker welds interior of a car, Geely auto factory, Ningbo, China.
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $108.31 billion (6.4% of world total)
Outflow: $52.15 billion (2.8% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $83.52 billion (4.2% of world total)
Outflow: $22.47 billion (1% of world total)

Pictured: Worker welds interior of a car, Geely auto factory, Ningbo, China.

2. France

Inflow: $117.51 billion (6.9% of world total)Outflow: $220.05 billion (11.8% of world total)Inflow: $157.97 billion (7.9% of world total)Outflow: $224.65 billion  (10.4% of world total)Pictured: Mechanics work on Gazelle helicopter at the Eurocopter factory, in Marignane, southern France.
Photo: AP

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $117.51 billion (6.9% of world total)
Outflow: $220.05 billion (11.8% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $157.97 billion (7.9% of world total)
Outflow: $224.65 billion  (10.4% of world total)

Pictured: Mechanics work on Gazelle helicopter at the Eurocopter factory, in Marignane, southern France.

1. United States

Inflow: $316.11 billion (18.6% of world total)Outflow: $311.79 billion (16.8% of world total)Inflow: $271.18 billion (13.7% of world total)Outflow: $378.36 billion (17.6% of world total)Pictured: Exterior of the New York Stock Exchange, New York City.
Photo: Oliver Quillia

2008 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $316.11 billion (18.6% of world total)
Outflow: $311.79 billion (16.8% of world total)

2007 FDI Statistics
Inflow: $271.18 billion (13.7% of world total)
Outflow: $378.36 billion (17.6% of world total)

Pictured: Exterior of the New York Stock Exchange, New York City.