World Investment Report 2012

Towards a New Generation of Investment Policies

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This annual report is widely regarded as the most authoritative source of data and analysis on the trends of foreign direct investment and developments in related national and international policy. Every issue of the report comprises an analysis of the trends in foreign direct investment during the previous years with special emphasis on development implications. It also provides a ranking of the largest transnational corporations in the world, in-depth analysis of a specific topic related to foreign direct investment, policy analysis and recommendations, and a statistical annex with data on foreign direct investment flows and stocks for nearly 200 economies. The 2012 edition presents a comprehensive investment policy framework for sustainable development, covering both its national and international dimensions.




Prospects for foreign direct investment (FDI) continue to be fraught with risks and uncertainties. At $1.5 trillion, flows of global FDI exceeded pre-financial crisis levels in 2011, but the recovery is expected to level off in 2012 at an estimated $1.6 trillion. Despite record cash holdings, transnational corporations have yet to convert available cash into new and sustained FDI, and are unlikely to do so while instability remains in international financial markets. Even so, half of the global total will flow to developing and transition economies, underlining the important development role that FDI can play, including in least developed countries.


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