fDi Intelligence reported a decline in greenfield FDI projects of 17.3% in 2009, with associated capital investment and job creation falling by more than one-third. The latest figures released by the fDi Markets databases reveal that although FDI fell in 2010, the pace of decline has slowed markedly and many segments of the global FDI market recorded strong positive growth.

In 2010, fDi Markets tracked a total of 12,047 FDI projects with associated investment of an estimated $748.8bn, creating an estimated 2,035,593 jobs. The number of FDI projects in 2010 was marginally down by 0.38% on 2009 figures. Total capital investment and job creation in 2010 fell by 16% and 4% respectively – a much smaller decline than the 36% fall in capital investment and 37% fall in job creation in 2009.

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Project size decline

In 2010, the average capital investment per project was $62m with 169 jobs created, compared with the average project size in 2009 of $73.8m and 176 jobs created.

Monthly investment patterns throughout 2010 were relatively constant with slight dips in figures in April and August. The biggest capital investment project of the year occurred in February with Malaysian company Petronas announcing a $16bn investment in Gladstone, Australia, with the aim of creating a joint venture to develop and operate a gas pipeline.

Manufacturing top activity

Software and IT services, business services and financial services rank as the top sectors for FDI in 2010, together accounting for almost one-third of global FDI projects. Manufacturing re-emerged as the top activity in 2010 with a 21% increase in manufacturing projects in 2010.

Asia-Pacific remains the top destination for investors, attracting one-third of global FDI in 2010. The US outperformed China for the second year running as the top destination country in 2010 ranked by number of FDI projects, although China was number one when ranked by capital investment and job creation.

Companies with their global headquarters in western Europe accounted for 44% of global FDI projects in 2010. The rest of Europe emerged as an important source market as companies headquartered there established one-fifth more FDI projects overseas in 2010 than in 2009.