A resurgence in New Zealand-destined investment has been identified by greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. The country recorded 63 individual projects during 2015, a 61.54% increase on 2014 and an improvement even on 2011, the previous peak. Indeed, New Zealand has seen its highest number of inward FDI projects since fDi Markets began tracking data in 2003.
The increase is part of a period of consolidation fDi Markets has detected in New Zealand-destined FDI in recent years. FDI levels fluctuated between 2011 and 2014, decreasing in 2012 and 2014 and increasing slightly by 10.42% in 2013.
New Zealand’s capacity to attract FDI can be compared with that of its larger Antipodean neighbour. Australia’s inward FDI fell by 17.99% during 2015, ending a three-year upward trend. New Zealand achieved a 15.56% share of all FDI entering Australia and New Zealand during 2015. This is the country’s highest ever market share, beating a 2003 figure of 14.42%. At an Antipodean city level, Auckland achieved third place during 2015, the first time a New Zealand city has done so since 2007.
New Zealand’s revival can in part be attributed to a revival in sectors that have been out of favour in recent years. The automotive OEM sector attracted two projects totalling $16.3m, the country's first such investment since 2009. Electronic components also recorded its first project since 2003, and six projects were classified as falling within logistics, distribution and transportation, the most ever for New Zealand within a single year.
Such high capital expenditure, labour-intensive projects will be a welcome addition to an FDI landscape that has been dominated by investment in software and IT services, business services and financial services in recent years.