The number of FDI projects into Latin America and the Caribbean increased by 33% in 2018 to 1420, and capital investment grew by 15% to $74.5bn. These figures were released as part of The fDi Report 2019, an annual report by fDi Intelligence of the previous year’s greenfield FDI trends. 

Mexico remained the top destination in the region, according to the report. Despite this, it witnessed a decline in FDI across project numbers (-2%) and capital investment (-5%) for the first time since 2015.

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Meanwhile, Brazil experienced a 77% and 65% increase in project numbers and capital investment, respectively, holding markets shares of 22% and 20%. The country ranked second for FDI in the region in 2018. Among the large projects Brazil attracted last year, Austria-based pulp and cellulose fibres manufacturer Lenzing and Brazil-based wood panels maker Duratex, a subsidiary of Brazil-based Itausa, announced plans to build a $1bn dissolving wood pulp plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil, as part of a 51-49 joint venture. The 450,000-tonne plant is expected to begin operations in 2022.

Colombia ranked third by number of projects in the region, following a 123% increase, with 165 projects announced in 2018. Chile also experienced a huge increase in its capital investment, rising from $4.2bn to $7.6bn, which can be mostly attributed to Polish company KGHM’s plans to invest $2bn in an expansion project at its Sierra Gorda mine in northern Chile.

After a resurgent year in Argentina, the country witnessed a 78% increase in project numbers and 55% growth in capital investment. Petronas E&P Argentina, an oil company and subsidiary of Malaysia-based Petronas, has entered into a joint venture with Argentina-based energy company YPF to invest $2.3bn in the Vaca Muerta shale oil fields in Neuquén Province, Argentina, by 2022. The companies’ objectives are to reach a production equivalent of 60,000 barrels a day by 2022.

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