Irish Economy
Ireland in top 10 for global FDI inflows in 2013 -- it's nothing to brag about
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 7, 2014 - 10:17 AM

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Ireland was in the in top 10 for FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows in 2013 according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). However, the data are misleading.

Irish inflows were valued at $46bn compared with $29bn in 2012 while the level in the UK fell from $62bn to $53bn.

Tiny Luxembourg was at $31bn compared with the Netherlands total of $22bn - - flows in and out of this country are in the trillions of dollars.

The flows include financial cash movements that are not investments in existing or new businesses. 

The outward Irish flows were at $24bn - - again that is not reliable.

fDi Intelligence, a unit of the Financial Times, provides project data to UNCTAD and in respect of 2012 it put the level of new projects (in respect of existing firms and new) at 812 in the UK and 147 in Ireland.

The chart here shows that jobs in FDI exporting firms in Ireland in 2013 were below the level in 2000 -- 13 years ago -- despite a 22% rise in the overall size of the workforce.

Global FDI flows rose by 11% in 2013 to an estimated US$1.46tn, up from a revised $1.32tn in 2012. FDI inflows increased in all major economic groupings - - developed, developing and transition economies.

FDI flows to developed countries remained at a historically low share of global total FDI flows (39%) for the second consecutive year. They increased by 12% to US$576bn, but only to 44% of their peak value in 2007. FDI to the European Union (EU) increased, while flows to the United States
continued their decline.

FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of $759bn, accounting for 52% of global FDI inflows in 2013. At the regional level, flows to Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa were up; developing Asia, with its flows at a level similar to 2012, remained the largest host region in
the world.

UNCTAD reports: 1, 2 [pdf]

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