Global FDI was stagnant in 2010 at an estimated $1122bn, but developing and transition economies attracted more than half of it, according to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) report.

The report showed a strong rebound in FDI to developing nations in Asia and Latin America, while flows fell most in Europe.


Unctad’s study read: “Quarterly fluctuations during 2010 indicate that the worldwide FDI recovery is still hesitant, although after an unexpectedly weak second quarter, global FDI flows registered an increase in the third quarter.

“Preliminary data for the fourth quarter suggests that global FDI flows continue to struggle to establish a sustainable growth path. FDI flows in the quarter are likely to be flat, or slightly down, compared with the third quarter.”

Much of the year’s FDI was in merger and acquisition activity, with greenfield FDI declining. Greenfield is now the main form of FDI, replacing merger and acquisition activity that had previously been the most common type.