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Fourth in world for direct investment

Belgium and Luxembourg were together fourth in the world in the year 2000 for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), according to the World Investment Report 2001, issued by UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The United States led the list with a total of $281 billion, Germany was second with $176 billion, the UK third with 130 billion, and Belgium-Luxembourg combined were fourth with $87 billion. The total flow of FDI was 18% up on the previous year.

The FDI Index, showing the relative success of a country in attracting FDI placed Belgium first of 137 countries in the 1998-2000 period, while the Transnationality Index, measuring how important FDI is to a country’s economy placed Belgium first equal with New Zealand.

The UNCTAD report warned, however, that FDI flows worldwide were likely to fall by 40% in 2001. This would represent the first drop since 1991 and the largest over the past three decades. The projected drop is due to a recent decline in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, which account for the bulk of FDI.

Reported by
24 October 2001

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