Greenfield FDI into Asia-Pacific increased by 19% in 2018, with 4218 projects announced. Capital investment also increased by 94%. This is according to The fDi Report 2019 from fDi Intelligence, which placed Asia-Pacific as the top world region for attracting greenfield FDI in 2018.
China was the top destination for FDI in Asia-Pacific with a total of 796 projects in 2018, gaining an overall market share of 19% and a 17% increase on the number of projects in 2017, the report found. Globally, China replaced the US as the highest ranked country for FDI by capital investment, with $107.2bn recorded, boosted by major announcements from Foxconn and BASF totalling $19bn. Another signature project was US-based electric car company Tesla Motors’ plan to construct a gigafactory in the Lingang area of Shanghai. Representing an investment of $5bn, the new factory will be 1.7 million square metres and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, producing its first cars in 2020.
Of the top 10 countries for FDI in Asia-Pacific in 2018, Thailand experienced the highest growth in project numbers, increasing by 55% from 111 in 2017 to 172 in 2018. Capital investment into India, meanwhile, grew by 120% to $54.3bn. Among the mega projects announced for India last year, Asia Pulp and Paper, a subsidiary of Indonesia-based Sinar Mas Group, said that it intends to open a $3.5bn plant in Andhra Pradesh, India.
FDI into Uzbekistan also significantly increased, with the number of projects rising from nine in 2017 to 52 in 2018. The country attracted six renewable energy projects in 2018, with a combined capital investment of $1.4bn. The Philippines saw a significant rise in the level of capital investment received, with an increase of 402%, from $4.4bn in 2017 to $21.9bn in 2018. China-based Panhua Group and Hesteel Group each announced projects with a combined investment of $7.9bn.
China retained its position as the largest source of outward capital investment in Asia-Pacific with $91.4bn in outward investment. Japan again ranked second, with outward investment totalling $60.1bn. The Philippines also experienced a large rise in the level of outward capital investment. In 2018, capital invested increased from $1.2bn in 2017 to $7.9bn in 2018.
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