A recently released joint report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reveals that most G20 member countries are not raising new barriers to investment, which should reassure those fearing a rise in the protectionist measures taken by several governments around the world in the past year.

Nine G20 members introduced FDI policy measures between May and October 2016, six of which would liberalise FDI: the US, China, Argentina, India, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. Conversely, the same period saw Australia and Canada introduce new fees and taxes on real estate acquisitions, and Brazil reversing a recently implemented liberalisation law.


Canada, Japan and Turkey between them signed four bilateral investment treaties, while the EU concluded an international investment treaty with the 15-member Southern African Development Community.

Despite this positive indicator of G20 members’ commitment to encouraging FDI, the report warns that member countries maintain restrictions on investment across many sectors, and to combat growing global protectionism, they must work to ease these restrictions. G20 members account for more than two-thirds of global FDI.