Covid-19 has deeply redrawn the global investment matrix, accelerating a momentous paradigm shift towards renewable energy and digital technologies, while wiping out capital expenditure in major sectors such as tourism and automotive, according to early 2020 data from investment monitor fDi Markets

Foreign investors announced renewable energy projects worth a total $91.5bn between January and November 2020, according to fDi Markets figures. That makes renewable energy the most coveted sector in 2020 (preliminarily as December data has not yet come through) — a crown that the oil and gas sector has relinquished only twice since 2003.


However, in 2020, the two sectors were not even close, as renewable energy fetched twice as much foreign investment as the $45.4bn that flowed into coal, oil and gas. 

The whole value chain of the digital economy also got a massive boost in the 11 months through November as the pandemic forced billions of people to live under restrictions and rely on digital technologies for basic services, work and entertainment. 

Investment into the communications sector withstood the impact of the pandemic, particularly thanks to investment in data processing, hosting and related services, which stood at $27.3bn for the period, according to fDi Markets, making it the fifth-largest investment sector of the year.  

Investment into non-store retailers jumped to $34.7bn during this period, far overshooting any previous record — credit goes mostly to Amazon, which made up more than 90% of the investment. 

The transportation and warehousing sector, and the software and IT industry, have also benefited from the boom in digital and e-commerce, fDi Markets data show. 

Major investment into the electronic components sector has also been announced — particularly around the production of batteries for electric vehicles, including projects worth $11.8bn, fDi Markets figures show. 

Notable absences in the matrix of the top 10 global investment sectors are the automotive sector and the hotel and tourism sector. Foreign investment into the former fell to a historic low of $15.6bn, while foreign investment into the latter did not go beyond $12.5bn, fDi Markets figures show.