According to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, investment with a manufacturing business function into south-east Asia experienced a period of decline between January 2008 and December 2013. However, with 10 months of data recorded for 2014, investment levels have already surpassed 2012 and 2013 levels.

In 2008, a total of 523 projects were recorded with 206,349 jobs created by 467 investing companies, representing the highest levels of manufacturing FDI in this near seven year period. Manufacturing FDI started to decline in 2009, with a drop in projects to 380 and a decline in jobs created to 130,449 jobs by 348 investing companies. This represents a 27.3% decrease in projects, a 36.8% drop in jobs created and a 25.5% decrease in companies investing.

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Despite a brief period of recovery in 2010, FDI declined further from 2008 figures through 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2011, 338 projects were recorded, compared with 263 in 2012 and 227 in 2013, a total of 203,212 jobs were recorded in 2011, compared with 116,718 in 2012 and 103,063 in 2013, and 294 companies invested in manufacturing in south-east Asia compared to 230 in 2012 and 203 in 2013. This three-year period between January 2011 and December 2013, represents a 32.8% decrease in projects recorded, a 49.3% drop in jobs created and a 31% decline in companies investing.

So far in 2014, 265 projects have been recorded, with 152,631 jobs created by 239 different investing companies. Up to October 2014, this represents a 16.7% increase in projects recorded, a 48.1% increase in jobs created and a 17.7% increase in companies investing compared with the whole of 2013. The increase in manufacturing investment into south-east Asia in 2014 could signal the start of a recovery and it will be interesting to see if 2015’s data can record a further increase to start an upward trend.