According to data from fDi Markets, China’s once unrivalled stance as the most popular destination for US FDI has come under increasing threat in recent years.

Data from fDi Markets shows that from 2003 to 2008 China was by far the leading global destination for US companies looking to set up or expand abroad. 

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During 2003, China received 119 more FDI projects from the US than its nearest competitor that year, India. This trend continued in following years, with China seeing 40 more projects than India in 2004, 104 more projects than its closest competitor, the UK, in 2005, 43 and 81 more projects than India in 2006 and 2007, respectively, and 106 more projects than the UK in 2008.

However, from 2009, fDi Markets shows a change in this trend, with the UK witnessing more US projects in both 2009 and 2010 than China. In 2009, the UK saw 404 FDI projects coming from the US, while China saw 396. Data from 2010 and 2011 so far shows that this change was not an anomaly. In 2010, the UK received 16 more US FDI projects than China and is still the most popular destination among US companies in 2011.

Amazon.com’s recent expansions into the UK in 2011 serves as a pertinent example of the increasing amount of US FDI entering the UK. Already in 2011, fDi Markets has recorded six projects from the Washington-based online retailer going into the UK market, in the shape of offices, distribution centres and customer contact centres.