Developing and transitional economies now make up 28% of global FDI outflows, figures from a recent study show. In 2007 their share of the market was only 17%.

Compiled by the UN, the report suggested that these types of countries are now increasingly important investors to the global economy and its recovery.

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It stated: “A feature of the increased importance of developing and transitional economies as investors is that a lion’s share of their investments (70%) were directed towards other developing and transitional economies.”

Outward FDI flows rose in all major groups of economies, but at much different rates. Flows from developing and transitional economies picked up strongly in 2010, while those from developed countries grew much more modestly.

Much of this emerging market growth came from Latin America and south-east Asia, which saw growth in outflows in double digits. Countries fairing particularly well were China, Brazil, Colombia and Malaysia.

Unfortunately the story was not the same with Africa, which saw FDI flows from the continent decline further in 2010. The estimated value of African outflows was $4bn, barely 1% of the developing economies’ total, and down from $4.5bn in 2009.

Global FDI outflows in 2010 increased to more than $1300bn, up 13% on 2009. The figure was an encouraging increase, but it was still only 40% of its 2007 peak.

The main modes of entry of corporations into foreign markets remained greenfield investment, which maintained its upward trend at the start of 2011. Merger and acquisition activity grew by 38% in 2010, but fell in the first months of this year.