Foreign Direct Investment Trends In 2024

Braumiller Law Group, PLLC


Braumiller Law Group, PLLC, is a highly respected boutique law firm based in Dallas, Texas with offices in the US and Mexico. The firm is focused on international trade compliance and proven strategies to optimize global trade business practices. The attorneys and trade advisors of Braumiller Law Group, and Braumiller Consulting Group, know exactly how to navigate the intricate maze of global trade regulations, and have a successful track record for helping clients save millions of dollars in compliance penalties.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a driving force behind global economic growth and development, acting as a lifeline of funding for nations around the world.
Worldwide International Law
To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a driving force behind global economic growth and development, acting as a lifeline of funding for nations around the world. Imagine a company from one corner of the globe setting up shop or acquiring a business in another – that's FDI in action. As we look at 2024, the landscape of FDI is fascinating, with traditional economic giants continuing to dominate while emerging markets rise to prominence, reshaping the global economic map.

United States: The Leading Destination for FDI

For the 12th consecutive year, the United States remains the top destination for FDI, according to Kearney's Global Business Policy Council's 2024 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index.

Let's take a look at the factors making the US the leading destination for FDI.

Strong Economy: The US has one of the largest and most dynamic economies in the world, providing a stable and robust environment for businesses to grow and thrive.

Technological Innovation: The US is a global leader in technological advancements and innovation, home to Silicon Valley and numerous high-tech industries, which attract foreign companies looking to invest in cutting-edge technologies.

Excellent Infrastructure: The US boasts advanced infrastructure, including transportation networks, telecommunications, and utilities, which facilitates efficient business operations.

Highly Skilled Workforce: The country has a well-educated and highly skilled labor force, providing a competitive edge for businesses that require specialized knowledge and expertise.

Strong Legal and Regulatory Framework: The US offers a transparent and predictable legal and regulatory environment, which provides foreign investors with confidence in the protection of their investments.

Access to Global Markets: Investing in the US provides companies with a strategic advantage due to its extensive trade agreements and position as a global trade hub, offering access to markets around the world.

Government Support: Various federal and state programs support foreign investment through incentives, grants, and partnerships, making the US an even more attractive destination for FDI.

The US economy is the fastest growing in the G7. Rebounding consumer sentiment, along with the factors listed above, give weight to its ranking and explains why it remains a top destination for FDI.

Asia: China Falters and India Endures

According to China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), foreign direct investment (FDI) into mainland China in 2023 was $33 billion, a 90% drop from 2021 and the lowest level since 1993.

Why the sudden steep?

Geopolitical Tensions: Rising geopolitical tensions, particularly between China and major economies such as the United States, have created an uncertain environment for foreign investors. Trade wars, tariffs, and diplomatic disputes have contributed to increased risks and hesitancy among foreign companies.

Regulatory and Policy Uncertainty: Changes in China's regulatory environment and policies have sometimes been unpredictable. For instance, stringent data privacy laws, cybersecurity regulations, and the recent crackdown on certain industries (like tech and education) have made the investment climate more volatile.

Economic Slowdown: China's economic growth has been slowing down compared to its rapid expansion in previous decades. The slowdown, partly due to domestic issues such as the property market crisis and debt levels, has made investors more cautious. COVID also disrupted global supply chains and business operations.

Rising Labor Costs: China's labor costs have been increasing, which reduces its competitiveness as a low-cost manufacturing hub. Many companies are considering relocating their production facilities to other countries in Asia where labor is cheaper, such as Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh.

Capital Flow Restrictions: China maintains strict control over capital flows, including limitations on repatriating profits and restrictions on foreign exchange. These controls can deter foreign investors who prefer more liberal and predictable financial environments. Although, more recently, the country has loosened up some restrictions.

Intellectual Property Concerns: Despite improvements, concerns about intellectual property protection remain. Foreign companies often worry about the risk of IP theft and the enforcement of IP rights in China, which can dissuade investment in technology and innovation-heavy industries.

Shift in Investment Focus: There has been a global shift towards investing in other emerging markets that are perceived as having higher growth potential and fewer regulatory hurdles. Countries like India, Southeast Asian nations, and parts of Africa are becoming more attractive for FDI.

While China has seen a steep decline in FDI, down 80% from the previous year, many investors are becoming attracted to India. The government has relaxed FDI norms in several sectors, including defense, retail, and insurance, making it easier for foreign companies to enter and invest in these markets. India's economy is diverse, with opportunities across various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, services, and technology. This diversity allows investors to tap into multiple growth areas. Additionally, The Indian government offers various incentives for foreign investors, including tax breaks, simplified regulations, and investment subsidies. For example, some states offer capital subsidies for companies setting up R&D facilities. And some regions offer expenditure-related subsidies for R&D too.

Europe: Some Hurdles, But Outcome Hopeful

European FDI experienced its first downturn since 2020. There were a number of factors, some being slow economic growth, spiraling inflation, soaring energy prices, and a volatile geopolitical environment. The decline in demand for new offices, driven by increased remote working, also impacted investment. Despite a 5% annual decline in project numbers, France secured the most investment, with the UK ranking second and Germany third. The 23rd EY Europe Attractiveness Survey reveals that Europe remains a long-term attractive investment destination, with 72% of businesses planning to expand or establish operations in the next year, up from 67% last year, and three-quarters expecting increased attractiveness over the next three years.

Additionally, investors are looking towards existing assets rather than pursue new developments in greenfield developments, such as electric cars and renewable energy projects.

Markets in Africa and Latin America

Africa is an attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) due to its rich natural resources, growing consumer market, and economic reforms aimed at improving the business environment. Significant investments in infrastructure, coupled with a youthful population, create a dynamic labor force and support long-term economic growth. Diverse sectoral opportunities in agriculture, manufacturing, technology, renewable energy, and services, along with government incentives, further entice foreign investors.

Despite these opportunities, investors should be aware of challenges such as political instability in certain areas, regulatory complexities, and infrastructure gaps. However, the ongoing reforms and initiatives aimed at improving the business climate are making Africa an increasingly attractive destination for FDI.

The economic future of Latin America and the Caribbean are risky. On one side, you have low productivity, low participation in global value chains, low investment in science and technology, regulatory and institutional deficiencies, financing limitations, savings and investment, and crime, just to name a few. But the workforce is relatively young, and many Latin American countries are rich in natural resources. Latin America possesses significant potential for the production of competitive green hydrogen (H2V) and is rich in numerous critical minerals required for the emerging economy, including lithium, copper, nickel, graphite, silicon, rare earths, high-grade iron ore, and more.


In conclusion, FDI will continue to flow into traditional economic powerhouses, with emerging markets playing an increasingly important role. The FDI trend in 2024 will be shaped by global economic conditions, government policies, and opportunities presented by innovative technologies, sustainability, and market size. For stakeholders in international trade, understanding these FDI trends is essential for making informed investment decisions and leveraging the opportunities presented by the global economic landscape.

Check out our new Digital Magazine Get the inside scoop on the Braumiller Law Group & Braumiller Consulting Group "peeps." Expertise in International Trade Compliance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

See More Popular Content From

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Learn More