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34.4%


OCTOBER2020’SDECLINEIN THEfDiINDEXCOMPARED WITHOCTOBER2019


GLOBALOUTLOOKNEWS


THE fDi INDEX REMAINS SUBDUED IN OCTOBER, BUT EARLY INVESTMENT SIGNALS SPIKE UPWARDS


FDInotyetout ofthewoods


Investment activity continues to be poor, after an inital recovery earlier in the year


Global investment remained weak in October, with activity levels falling across the board from a year earlier, although data evidence is also suggesting that multinational companies are sowing the seeds for future investment campaigns. The fDi Index — which tracks


foreign investors sentiment — stood at 703 points in October, down by 34.4% from the same month of 2019, according to figures from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. While announced projects fell


across geographies and sectors, investor signals — an early stage indication that a company will be considering an investment project down the line and a major component of the fDi Index — bucked the trend, reaching a record high of 420 signals in October, from 344 signals in the same month of 2019, fDi Markets figures show. The bulk of these signals were


tracked in high value added sectors, such as ICT, financial services, life science and creative industries as Covid-19 accelerates digitisation and brings health to the forefront of public debate. Chinese social network platform


TikTok unveiled plans to expand its global engineering team, adding approximately 3000 engineers in Canada, Europe, Singapore and the US by 2023.


6 Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone


and electric scooters manufacturer, has also announced it will continue to expand its footprint in overseas markets. After gaining a leadership in the Indian market in just a few years, the company plans to gain a lead in the European market by 2025, and in more developed countries in the future. “We are confident about our


future growth in overseas markets,” ChinaDaily quotes founder and chief executive Lei Jun as saying on October 15. In life sciences, Swiss group


Roche is looking at Africa for the next steps of its global expansion, as it plans to open newbranches in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as considering Tanzania or Angola for future locations. The month also sawthe


announcement of the largest project announced in thecommunications sector since fDiMarkets started tracking the sector in 2003. Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica teamed up with German insurance company Allianz in a 50/50 joint venture to roll out a broadband fibre-to-the-home(FTTH) plan in Germany that entails the development of a 50,000kmnetwork.


The joint venture plans on investing €5bn over the next six years, Telefonica said in a statement.■ JACOPODETTONI


Five economies dodging the Covid bullet


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the pandemic to sink world gross domestic product (GDP) by 4.4% this year. The most notable exception is


China, which has an estimated 1.9% real GDP growth in 2020. On top of that, it is forecast to grow by 8.2% in 2022. Far from bearing the economic scars of Covid-19, it is set to bounce into next year with pre- pandemic growth rates. China’s resilience is also shoring


up growth in the region, particu- larly in Vietnam and Bangladesh, and is felt as far as Guinea, where Chinese demand for mining commodities is enough to propel the African country through the pandemic. Rising oil star Guyana remains in a league of its own with a stellar 26% GDP growth expected for 2020, although the South American country appears on a wild boom and bust ride, and faces a considerable fall next year.■ SETHO’FARRELL


IPAsprioritise renewables


Investment promotion agencies are eager to promote renewables and increasingly inclined to digitise their methods, according to a joint survey byWorld Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) and theWorld Bank. Now,amid a protracted global pandemic, this trend is only set to continue. Alex Sanchiz Vicente, invest-


ment policy and promotion consult- ant at the World Bank, tells fDi how sustainability considerations are becoming part of many IPAs’ mandate and investment services, citing India and Spain as two nota- ble renewable energy proponents. Renewable energy tops the list


of sectors targeted, with 68% of IPAs deeming it a high-priority sector, closely followed by agriculture, fishing and forestry, and pharma- ceuticals and biotechnology, the survey by Waipa and the World Bank found. ■ SETHO’FARRELL


www.fDiIntelligence.com December 2020/January 2021


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