Western Europe and North America remained the key providers of FDI during 2008, providing 47% and 24%, respectively. In terms of number of FDI projects created, these regions combined accounted for almost three-quarters of total FDI during 2008. In terms of capital investment and new jobs created through FDI, about 60% in total came from western Europe and North America.

Asia-Pacific also remained a key source market for FDI, providing 19% of projects, 21% of capital investment and 23% of jobs created. Interestingly, more jobs were created by Asian companies than by North American companies even though 30% more projects came from North America.

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Africa’s rise

Although only 3% of projects were sourced in either Africa or Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa showed the largest year-on-year growth in terms of the number of outbound FDI projects, with a huge rise of 213% on 2007 figures, and Latin America and the Caribbean showed the largest year-on-year increase in terms of capital investment, with a rise of 113% on 2007 figures. Notably, Asia-Pacific had the smallest yearly increase in both capital investment (24%) and jobs created (16%). The Middle East experienced the largest year-on-year growth of jobs sourced from the region.

US domination

The US alone accounted for 22% of global outbound FDI projects and continued to grow in line with the global average, with a 29% increase in number of projects generated during 2008. It also accounted for 16% of both capital investment and 18% of jobs created during 2008, which while maintaining its position as the largest source country, was below the average global increases.

The top five source countries generated 53% of FDI projects, 42% of capital investment and 44% of jobs created. They have remained relatively unchanged during the past six years, with only occasional changes in each of their positions on the league table. However, despite not yet appearing in the top 20 source countries in terms of number of the FDI projects generated, the UAE seems to be quickly increasing its contribution, displaying high annual growth of 89% in project numbers, 63% in capital investment and 84% in jobs created. The UAE has increased its position in the league table from fifth to second in terms of capital investment and from ninth to sixth in terms of jobs created.

Canada showed the largest growth in terms of capital investment, rising from being the 20th to the seventh largest provider of FDI in 2008. Meanwhile, Spain rose from its previous position of 13th to sixth in terms of jobs created overseas.

Belgium slows

On the opposite side of the scale, Belgium slowed down as a source country with a below-average increase of just 6%. Similarly, Japan, while still growing in terms of capital investment, did so at a slower pace (20%) that the global average (55%) and Spain declined by 10% in terms of the number of jobs it provided through FDI. Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and the Middle East were all represented in the top five source cities, with London and Paris ranking of equal importance.

London growth

London was the top source city in terms of the number of the new FDI projects created in 2008, accounting for 5% of global sourced FDI projects, with an annual growth of 23%.

Paris followed closely in terms of number of projects created and surpassed London in terms of both capital investment and jobs created during 2008. Paris-headquartered companies generated 5% of total outward capital investment and created 4% of total new jobs during 2008.