Serrari Group

GENEVA: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its latest World Investment Report on June 20, revealing a 2% decrease in global foreign direct investment (FDI) to $1.3 trillion in 2023. The report highlights the influence of a slowing global economy and increasing geopolitical tensions on investment flows.

Key Findings

Global FDI Trends: The report notes a significant downturn in FDI, with a sharper decline of over 10% when excluding certain exceptions. This marks the second consecutive year of substantial decreases in global foreign investments.

Impact on Developing Countries: FDI flows to developing nations dropped by 7% to $867 billion. Developing Asia experienced the most considerable impact with an 8% decline. Africa saw a 3% reduction, while Latin America and the Caribbean faced a 1% decrease.

Developed Economies: Developed countries were also affected, with Europe and North America experiencing declines of 14% and 5%, respectively. This reduction was partly due to the financial activities of multinational enterprises and efforts to implement a global minimum tax rate on corporate profits.

Project Financing and SDGs: The number of international project finance deals, crucial for funding infrastructure and public services, fell by 25%. This decrease led to a 10% reduction in investments in sectors related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly impacting agri-food systems, water, and sanitation projects.

Prospects and Policy Efforts

Despite the challenges, the report suggests the possibility of modest growth in FDI for the coming year, supported by easing financial conditions and enhanced investment facilitation efforts. National policies and international agreements are increasingly focused on creating favorable environments for business and investment through online information portals and single-window systems.

Digitalization and Sustainable Investment

Digitalization is highlighted as a key solution for developing countries, addressing technical challenges and promoting broader digital government initiatives. These efforts are essential for overcoming governance and institutional weaknesses that often hinder investment.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan emphasized the broader implications of FDI, stating, “Investment is not just about capital flows; it is about human potential, environmental stewardship, and the enduring pursuit of a more equitable and sustainable world.”


The UNCTAD report presents a nuanced view of the global investment landscape. While the decline in FDI poses challenges, particularly for developing economies, there is hope for modest growth driven by improved financial conditions and strategic policy initiatives. The focus on digitalization and sustainable investment practices could contribute to a more resilient global economy in the long term.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

21st June, 2024

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