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COMMENT BEYOND20


Thefuture ofFDI: drivers anddirections to2030


THE SENIOR DIRECTOR OF THE INVESTMENT AND ENTERPRISE DIVISION AT UNCTAD IDENTIFIES THE FACTORS THAT WILL SHAPE THE COMING DECADE IN FDI


the pandemic, magnifying some challenges, but also opening up opportunities for invest- ment and development. While the pandemic may not be over soon, reorientating investment promotion strategy will be unavoidable when charting a sustainable course to recovery.


Five drivers forGVCtransformation Five driving forces will reshape the global trade and investment landscape:


JAMES ZHAN


ade to 2030 is likely to be one of transformation for global value chains (GVCs), reshaping the global trade and investment landscape. The pandemic has caused a treble shock of


O 40


supply, demand and policy. It has a severe impact on FDI and GVCs. I would expect that widespread disruption of many GVCs and the deep recession of global FDI to extend into 2021. A rebound of global FDI will probably start only in 2022, hence showing a U-shape recovery. In the longer-term, the pandemic is acceler- ating several trends already emerging prior to


ver the past two decades, global value chains witnessed one of rapid growth followed by one of stagnation. The dec-


• Economic governance realignment: interna- tional trade and investment policy-making is shifting from multilateral co-operation towards regional and bilateral solutions, with intensi- fied protectionism at home. The aggravated competition between economic powers in trade, investment, technology and so on may lead to a widespread global systemic divide in economic governance. • New industrial revolution: the robotics-ena- bled automation, enhanced supply chain digi- talisation, the Internet of Things and additive manufacturing will stimulate cross-border investment in new business sectors and through newmodes of operation. • Sustainability imperative: markets and gov- ernments are prioritising the mainstreaming of sustainability in products and processes. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will also change the patterns of global FDI, in terms of the sources of financing, sectoral dis- tribution and geographical location. • Corporate accountability: global efforts to fight corruption, illicit payments, tax evasion and anti-competitive practices, as well as envi- ronmental, social and governance standards will fundamentally change themodes of opera- tion and governance ofmultinationals. • Resilience-oriented restructuring: the mas-


www.fDiIntelligence.com December 2020/January 2021


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