The Institute of International Finance found that FDI into emerging markets increased from $119bn in 2006 to an estimated $256bn last year, with a further increase to $286bn predicted for this year. The research said: “The strength of FDI comes despite an evident rise in global corporate caution in recent months.”

Overall capital flows into emerging markets reached an estimated $782.4bn in 2007, increasing from $568.2bn in 2006 and $521bn in 2005. The trend is set to continue, with strong FDI flows projected globally; China is expected to lead the way at $88bn and Latin America is likely to attract $55bn.

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The findings are backed up by annual figures released by consulting group OCO Global, which found China to be retaining its 2006 ranking as the top global destination for multinational investment, attracting 1171 projects.