Opinions also differed over which countries were the worst hit. According to Norbert Walter, research manager at Deutsche Bank, the impact of the crisis was divided between the US by one-third and two-thirds by Europe, and next to nothing in the rest of the world.

However, no country has been left untouched, with numbers of FDI projects falling in developing and emerging markets. Josep Borrell Fontelles, former president of the European Parliament, said: “Developing countries lost 4.5 basic points in terms of investments. In the Asian crisis, the loss was 2.5 points, making the current crisis [almost] twice as much.”


When asked about the impact of the crisis on traditional forces of lending, the majority of panellists agreed that it has been dramatic. “These days banks are much more hesitant to lend due to the high risk premium,” said Mr Walter.

He added that sectors particularly hard hit by the crisis will have difficulty in securing loans. This will also cause problems for large projects that need loans from multiple banks. Renewable energy and pipeline projects will not succeed without government intervention, warned Mr Walter.

Cecile Sourbes