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UNCTAD World Investment Report 2019

  • 13 Jun 2019
  • 2 min read

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2019, India received foreign direct investments worth USD 42 billion in 2018. India attracted over 77% of the total foreign direct investments that came to the South Asian region. 

  • The global FDI slipped by 13% in 2018, to US$1.3 trillion from $1.5 trillion in 2017, the third consecutive annual decline.
  • In South Asia, overall, FDI inflows increased by 3.5% to $54 billion. The prospects for FDI inflows into South Asia are largely determined by expectations of growing investment into India.
  • Investment in India rose by 6% to USD 42 billion with strong inflows in manufacturing, communication, financial services and cross-border merger and acquisition activities. However, India’s rank as a source country for FDI fell one notch to the 10th position as it was overtaken by Spain.
  • Among others in the South Asian region, FDI flows to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka rose to a record level, to USD 3.6 billion and USD 1.6 billion, respectively, while Pakistan witnessed a 27% decline in investment to USD 2.4 billion.
    • Of the 5,400 special economic zones (SEZs) in the world, more than 4,000 are in developing countries in Asia. In the developing countries in Asia, China topped the list at 2,543 such zones, followed by Philippines (528), India (373) Turkey (102), Thailand (74) among others.
  • India has recently liberalised its rules on inward investment (an investment that comes into a country from investors who live in other countries) in several industries, including single-brand retail trading, airlines and power exchanges.


  • UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It is part of the UN Secretariat.
  • It supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively.
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