Skip to Main Content

FDI - Foreign Direct Investment: FDI - Foreign Direct Investments

Briefly on FDI - Foreign Direct Investments

A defintion:

foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country. Generally, FDI takes place when an investor establishes foreign business operations or acquires foreign business assets in a foreign company.
(Source: Investopedia)

OECD -  FDI flows (indicator). 
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows record the value of cross-border transactions related to direct investment during a given period of time, usually a quarter or a year. Financial flows consist of equity transactions, reinvestment of earnings, and intercompany debt transactions. Outward flows represent transactions that increase the investment that investors in the reporting economy have in enterprises in a foreign economy, such as through purchases of equity or reinvestment of earnings, less any transactions that decrease the investment that investors in the reporting economy have in enterprises in a foreign economy, such as sales of equity or borrowing by the resident investor from the foreign enterprise. Inward flows represent transactions that increase the investment that foreign investors have in enterprises resident in the reporting economy less transactions that decrease the investment of foreign investors in resident enterprises. FDI flows are measured in USD and as a share of GDP. FDI creates stable and long-lasting links between economies.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is defined as an investment reflecting a lasting interest and control by a foreign direct investor, resident in one economy, in an enterprise resident in another economy (foreign affiliate)
(Source: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2020, Fact Sheet #9: Foreign direct Investment)

Foreign direct investment, abbreviated as FDI, is an international investment within the balance of payment accounts. Essentially, a resident
entity in one economy seeks to obtain a lasting interest in an enterprise resident in another economy
(Source: Glossary on FDI - Foreign Direct Investment)

FDI - a paper with a more detailed overview of sources

Global: FDI - Foreign Direct Investments

OECD iLibrary

OECD International Direct Investment Statistics
OECD International Direct Investment Statistics gives access to a comprehensive set of statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) into and out of OECD countries. The data are presented in a standardized format combining sectorial and geographical breakdowns for flow and stock data from 1982 onwards. Summary tables and more detailed country table are available. 


OECD Foreign Direct Investment Statistics: Data, Analysis and Forecasts



FDI Statistics Database
Statistics on FDI is to be found in the Globalization topic






FDI Statistics. Division on Investment and Enterprise

World Investment Report (publlished by UNCTAD)
The World Investment Report focuses on trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide, at the regional and country levels and emerging measures to improve its contribution to development.

Every issue of the Report has:

  • Analysis of the trends in FDI during the previous year, with especial emphasis on the development implications.
  • Ranking of the largest transnational corporations in the world.
  • In-depth analysis of a selected topic related to FDI.
  • Policy analysis and recommendations.
  • Statistical annex with data on FDI flows and stocks at the country level.

Access via CBS Library:
UNCTAD & United Nations Conference on Trade Development: World Investment Report.

Eurostat - FDI statistics

European Foreign Direct Investments


Foreign Direct Investment Statistics (Eurostat Statistics Expllained):
This article gives an overview of foreign direct investments (FDI) for the European Union (EU) in relation to year-end stocks, annual flows and income. The analysis covers the period 2009–2015 for the EU-28


IMF Coordinated Direct Investment Survey

Includes inward and outward direct investment by country or region back to 2009. Includes bilateral (country-to-country) data.


IMF Data - Access to Macroeconomic & Financial data: Available  datasets listed alphabetically


Orbis Crossborder Investment (NO ACCESS VIA CBS LIBRARY)

Orbis Crossborder Investment looks at globalisation via projects and deals and delivers information on the companies behind these investments – both listed and private companies. It tracks information daily and monitors announced, completed and cancelled/withdrawn projects and deals, as well as rumours and intentions.

The content falls into two parts

  1. Greenfield FDI projects – such as a company setting up (or expanding) a physical presence in a foreign market. Projects being tracked could be the opening, expansion, co-location and relocation of data centers, sales offices, shared service centers, headquarters, distribution centers, and research and development centers
  2. Crossborder M&A deals – defined as having more than 10% foreign ownership and including acquisitions, mergers, demergers, joint ventures and minority stakes.

The database covers details of the investor, acquirer or target companies including financial data, their structures and their people as well as data on project financials and estimates (when data is not available).

Data coverage: it contains data from 2013 until today and covers (2020) more than 120.000 projects (retail projects excluded), 100.000 M&A deals, 101.000 companies and 44.000 companies only with projects.

Orbis Crossborder Investment provides a set of tools allowing you to work more in detail with the data. Among the tools are Pivot analysis, Geographic heat map, Company footprint, League tables and Key trends. In the Help function, you can find a more detailed description of the tools.

A comprehensive help function is built into the database (click ? in the upper right corner) where you can find guidance on how to search for and export data.

You will also find a description of the sources used to collect data and a very useful glossary of terms.

You can export data to Excel.


EMIS Professional 

A good database to find FDI information about emerging economies.
Start your search by choosing a country (China) and then search for: FDI (in the upper search box). Limit e.g. your search results by language and document type (News, Reports, Companies or Statistics)

Overview of FDI Investments:


Statista is a statistics portal that provides statistics and other data on a wide range of topics and among other things you can find a lot of statistics on FDI - Foreign Direct Investments.

Search hint:
in the search box search for: FDI or "Foreign Direct Investment" and use the filter to limit your search by Regions, Countries & Territories, Industry, and more

  1. Looking for FDI data for specific countries, try out the national statistics
    example: Ministry of Commerce, China -

  1. Columbia FDI Profiles,
    Columbia FDI Profiles is a series of concise electronic publications on FDI data and policy developments, highlighting, in standardized format, current developments in FDI inflows and outflows at the country level and the policy context in which they take place.

  1. Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index
    Examines the overarching trends in FDI. Top 25 ranking looks at how political and economic changes will affect FDI inflows.

  1. US Foreign Direct Investment (inflows and outflows)
    From the BEA, based on filing information, it includes US Investment Abroad and Foreign Direst Investment in the US.

Denmark: FDI - Foreign Direct Investments

Danmarks Nationalbank

Access to tables, data and reports on Direct Investments

Direct investments in StatBank, 

Statistics Denmark (Danmarks Statistik)

Foreign owned companies in Denmark,
The Foreign enterprises in Denmark statistics shows the number of foreign enterprises located in Denmark and number of Danish employees working at these places. 

Danish Foreign Affiliates > Statistical processing
Danish foreign affiliates statistics is a census survey (not a sample survey), which means that the statistics, basically cover all Danish companies that owns affiliates abroad. 

CBS Library, Solbjerg Plads 3, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Homepage | Addresses and Opening Hours | Contact