Mercosur, South America's leading trading bloc which consists of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, has been attracting a growing number of FDI projects over the past eight years, according to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.

The most projects were recorded in 2010 with 511 projects recorded in the year. So far in 2011 508 projects have been recorded, with quarter four still to go. The most significant year on year growth in investment in the region occurred in 2008 when there was an increase in investment of 37% on the previous year.

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The majority of FDI projects going into the region are coming from the US, with the second and third largest number of projects between January 2003 and September 2011 coming from France and Spain. However, in 2011 so far, the second leargest number of projects have come from the UK.

According to fDi Markets, software and IT services is the industry sector attracting the largest number of projects, with a total of 397, which represents 12% of all projects into Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. 2011 has seen a surge in projects in the industrial machinery, equipment and tools sector, with 49 projects in the first three quarters of the year, making it the second most popular sector in the year so far.