MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore rallied to fifth spot as world's largest foreign investment hub

Singapore climbed one step up, beating The Netherlands.

In 2017, Singapore received $82.74b (US$62b) of foreign direct investment, snagging the fifth spot in the world's top 20 foreign direct investment hubs, the 2018 World Investment Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) revealed.

Topping the global list is the United States with US$275b worth of FDI. Meanwhile, China is Asia’s top FDI hub with a 2% YoY growth to US$136b.

According to the 2018 World Investment Report, Global FDI crashed 23% in 2017 from $2.50t (US$1.87t) in 2016 to $1.91t (US$1.43t) in 2017.

“The decline is in stark contrast to other macroeconomic variables, such as GDP and trade, which saw substantial improvement in 2017,” the report noted. A 21.76% fall in the value of net cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) from $1.18t (US$887b) in 2016 to $926b (US$694b) contributed to the decline.

“The negative trend is a long-term concern for policymakers worldwide, especially for developing countries where international investment is indispensable for sustainable industrial development,” UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said.

Also read: Where did Singapore's US$503b overseas investment go?

Asia gained 0.21% to $635b (US$476b) worth of foreign investments.

“Industrial policies and accompanying investment policies need to revolve around a clearly articulated vision but, at the same time, they have to contain practical and detailed recommendations, a clear timeline for action and a division of responsibilities among the public and private sectors,” UNCTAD secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi commented.

Hong Kong and Brazil rank third and fourth with $139b (US$104b) and $84b (US$63b) worth of FDI, respectively.

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