According to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, Latin America has witnessed a marked decline in the number of FDI projects in 2012 compared to 2011. Between January and May 2012, FDI into the Latin America region was down 36% compared to the same period in 2011. Latin American FDI reached a record high in 2011, with nearly 1500 FDI projects in the region generating an estimated 386,000 jobs.

The number of FDI projects from North America and Europe has declined by 37% in 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, while investment from Africa is also down, with African companies yet to invest in Latin America so far in 2012. In the first five months of 2011, there were six investments from Africa into Latin America. The only region to record an increase in invesment is the Middle East, FDI projects from the region have doubled in the first five months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, however, such projects still only represent 2% of all investment in Latin America.

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The top 10 destination countries in Latin America have all experienced declines in the number of FDI projects they have attracted for the period January to May 2012 compared to same period of 2011. The worst affected have been Colombia, which has seen a 49% decrease, Argentina with a 46% decline, Chile, which is down 47%, and Peru with 54% fewer investments.

Software and IT services was the top sector for FDI projects in the first five months of both 2011 and 2012, although there has been less investment in 2012 than there was in 2011. Other sectors have also witnessed declines, including communication, which has recorded 47% fewer projects, and financial services, which has seen a 43% drop.