Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a direct investment into production or business in a country by a company in another country, either by buying a company in the target country or by expanding operations of an existing business in that country. Foreign direct investment is in contrast to portfolio investment which is a passive investment in the securities of another country such as stocks and bonds.
Foreign direct investment has many forms. Broadly, foreign direct investment includes "mergers and acquisitions, building new facilities, reinvesting profits earned from overseas operations and intracompany loans". In a narrow sense, foreign direct investment refers just to building new facilities. The numerical FDI figures based on varied definitions are not easily comparable.
As a part of the national accounts of a country, and in regard to the national income equation Y=C+I+G+(X-M), I is investment plus foreign investment, FDI is defined as the net inflows of investment (inflow minus outflow) to acquire a lasting management interest (10 percent or more of voting stock) in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor. FDI is the sum of equity capital, other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown the balance of payments. FDI usually involves participation in management, joint-venture, transfer of technology and expertise. There are two types of FDI: inward and outward, resulting in a net FDI inflow (positive or negative) and "stock of foreign direct investment", which is the cumulative number for a given period. Direct investment excludes investment through purchase of shares. FDI is one example of international factor movements
- Horizontal FDI arises when a firm duplicates its home country-based activities at the same value chain stage in a host country through FDI.
- Platform FDI
- Vertical FDI takes place when a firm through FDI moves upstream or downstream in different value chains i.e., when firms perform value-adding activities stage by stage in a vertical fashion in a host country.
Horizontal FDI decreases international trade as the product of them is usually aimed at host country; the two other types generally act as a stimulus for it.
The foreign direct investor may acquire voting power of an enterprise in an economy through any of the following methods:
- by incorporating a wholly owned subsidiary or company anywhere
- by acquiring shares in an associated enterprise
- through a merger or an acquisition of an unrelated enterprise
- participating in an equity joint venture with another investor or enterprise
Foreign direct investment incentives may take the following forms:
- low corporate tax and individual income tax rates
- tax holidays
- other types of tax concessions
- preferential tariffs
- special economic zones
- EPZ – Export Processing Zones
- Bonded Warehouses
- investment financial subsidies
- soft loan or loan guarantees
- free land or land subsidies
- relocation & expatriation
- infrastructure subsidies
- R&D support
- derogation from regulations (usually for very large projects)
Importance and barriers to FDI 
The rapid growth of world population since 1950 has occurred mostly in developing countries. This growth has not been matched by similar increases in per-capita income and access to the basics of modern life, like education, health care, sanitary water and waste disposal.
Foreign direct investment and the developing world 
A 2011 meta-analysis of the effects of foreign direct investment on local firms in developing and transition countries suggests that foreign investment robustly increases local productivity growth.  The Commitment to Development Index ranks the "development-friendliness" of rich country investment policies.
Foreign direct investment in China 
FDI in China, also known as RFDI (renminbi foreign direct investment), has increased considerably in the last decade, reaching $59.1 billion in the first six months of 2012, making China the largest recipient of foreign direct investment and topping the United States which had $57.4 billion of FDI.
Foreign direct investment in India 
Foreign investment was introduced in 1991 under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), driven by then finance minister Manmohan Singh. As Singh subsequently became the prime minister, this has been one of his top political problems, even in the current (2012)election.< ref>The Times of India (Sep 28, 2012). "Why do you become 'Singham' for US, not for India? Narendra Modi asks Manmohan Singh". Retrieved 2012-12-13.</ref> India disallowed overseas corporate bodies (OCB) to invest in India.
Starting from a baseline of less than $1 billion in 1990, a 2012 UNCTAD survey projected India as the second most important FDI destination (after China) for transnational corporations during 2010–2012. As per the data, the sectors that attracted higher inflows were services, telecommunication, construction activities and computer software and hardware. Mauritius, Singapore, US and UK were among the leading sources of FDI. Based on UNCTAD data FDI flows were $10.4 billion, a drop of 43% from the first half of the last year.
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Foreign direct investment in the United States 
U.S. FDI totaled $194 billion in 2010. 84% of FDI in the U.S. in 2010 came from or through eight countries: Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Canada. A 2008 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco indicated that foreigners hold greater shares of their investment portfolios in the United States if their own countries have less developed financial markets, an effect whose magnitude decreases with income per capita. Countries with fewer capital controls and greater trade with the United States also invest more in U.S. equity and bond markets.
White House data reported in June 2011 found that a total of 5.7 million workers were employed at facilities highly dependent on foreign direct investors. Thus, about 13% of the American manufacturing workforce depended on such investments. The average pay of said jobs was found as around $70,000 per worker, over 30% higher than the average pay across the entire U.S. workforce.
President Barack Obama said in 2012, "In a global economy, the United States faces increasing competition for the jobs and industries of the future. Taking steps to ensure that we remain the destination of choice for investors around the world will help us win that competition and bring prosperity to our people."
- "China Edges Out U.S. as Top Foreign-Investment Draw Amid World Decline". Wall Street Journal. 2012-10-23.
- "Foreign direct investment, net inflows (BoP, current US$) | Data | Table". Data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- "CIA - The World Factbook". Cia.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- "What is Foreign Direct Investment, Horizontal and Vertical « Knowledge Base". Guidewhois.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- Tomas Havranek & Zuzana Irsova (2011-04-30). "Which Foreigners are Worth Wooing? A Meta-Analysis of Vertical Spillovers from FDI". Ideas.repec.org. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- "China tops U.S. as investment target in 1st half 2012: U.N. agency". Reuters. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
- "FDI by Country". Greyhill Advisors. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- The Times of India (Dec 13, 2012). "BJP will break records". Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- "Derecognition of overseas corporate bodies (OCBs)". rbidocs.rbi.org.in. December 8, 2003. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "White House Touts Growing Foreign Direct Investment In The U.S.". ABC News. June 20, 2011. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "U.S. FDI and site selection". Greyhill Advisors. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "Why Do Foreigners Invest in the United States?". Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. October 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
See also 
- Bilateral investment treaty
- Foreign exchange controls
- List of countries by FDI abroad
- List of countries by received FDI