An unrivalled amount of capital pledged to wind and hydrogen projects shaped the investment matrix in 2022, while oil and gas returned to the top 10 recipient sectors of foreign direct investment (FDI) due to the energy crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The FDI landscape in 2022 was influenced by massive investment projects, most notably in renewable and traditional energy, but also in steel, electric vehicle (EV) batteries and semiconductors.  The latest full-year 2022 figures from foreign investment monitor fDi Markets show that a record-breaking 136 FDI projects worth at least $1bn were announced globally, more than double the number recorded in 2021.


While billions of dollars were deployed into renewables projects, 2022 also saw the return of oil and gas. Amid higher prices and supply constraints after Russia’s war in Ukraine, FDI into oil and gas extraction topped $57bn, up from the record low of $5.4bn a year earlier and the highest level since 2009, according to fDi Markets. This is a massive step change from 2021, which had been the first year when oil and gas has fallen out of the largest 10 recipient sectors of FDI. 

Overall greenfield FDI in green hydrogen and other emerging clean technologies topped $175bn last year – its highest ever level and more than four times larger than the $42bn tracked in 2021, according to fDi Markets data. While countries like Egypt have emerged as unlikely benefactors of this green energy push, there remains uncertainty over the deployment of large-scale hydrogen projects. Global FDI pledged to wind energy projects also reached an all-time high of more than $110bn in 2022, more than double the level seen a year earlier. This included US-based utility AES Corporation’s $13bn offshore wind project in Vietnam's Binh Thuan province.

Massive capacity expansions in the semiconductor industry continued in 2022, as chipmakers sought to navigate geopolitical risk and make use of incentives such as the US Chips Act. For instance, in November the world’s largest contract chipmaker TSMC set out plans to open a second US fab in Phoenix, Arizona, The announcement brought TSMC’s total investment plans to $40bn, which is more than triple the original $12bn chip plant announced back in 2020. Overall investment in semiconductors surpassed $90bn in 2022, which is higher than any other year since records began in 2003, fDi Markets data shows.

Persistent supply chain issues in 2022 led FDI into the transportation and warehousing sector to reach $65bn. This was driven mainly by pledges in freight and distribution services, as major shipping companies and port operators expanded capacity. 

Real estate saw a bounce of investment in 2022, due to a push to develop new sustainable cities in emerging markets. This included UAE-based developer URB plans to invest $20bn into a new city in South Africa.

Investment figures in 2022 indicated that the automotive industry transition to EVs was in full swing. Over $54bn worth of FDI projects were announced into EV battery projects, including China’s CATL plans to invest $7.5bn into a new gigafactory in Hungary.


The automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sector saw FDI reach $34.3bn, its highest level since before the Covid-19 pandemic, as carmakers set out their electrification plans. This included South Korean automotive powerhouse Hyundai’s multi-billion dollar plans in the US state of Georgia

Despite major investments into data centres and other IT infrastructure, communications fell down the ranks of sectors compared to previous years. Communications FDI projects worth $56.7bn were tracked in 2022, down from a record high of $69bn in 2021, according to fDi Markets.