NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Face Of Global Investment

October 5, 2000

Direct investment across the world's borders is expected to top $1 trillion this year -- an all-time record, according to a United Nations report. As recently as 1995, foreign direct investments amounted to only $332 billion.

Such investments typically range from building or expanding a factory abroad to a merger or acquisition involving another company in another country.

  • Last year, more than three-quarters of the investments flowed into developed countries, with developing countries receiving less than one-quarter of the total.
  • The U.S. garnered $276 billion last year -- more than any other single country -- while more than $305 billion flowed into the European Union.
  • There are about 63,000 transnational corporations worldwide with approximately 700,000 affiliates.
  • General Electric of the U.S. boasts $128.6 billion in foreign assets, more than any other company, and General Motors comes in second with $73.1 billion -- followed by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Ford Motor Co., Exxon Corp., Toyota, IBM, Amoco, DaimlerChrysler and Nestle SA.

"Governments recognize the importance of attracting foreign direct investment," the report said. "Across the globe, they are opening their economies to encourage the flow of trade, technology, information, investment and financial flows."

Source: Didi Tang, "Global Investment Exceeds $1 Trillion," Washington Times, October 5, 2000.


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