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China surpasses U.S. as largest recipient of foreign direct investment during Covid pandemic

The Chinese economy brought in more foreign direct investment than any other country last year, knocking the United States from its perch atop the list. China brought in $163 billion in inflows last year, compared to $134 billion attracted by the U.S., the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development wrote in a report released on Sunday. In 2019, the U.S. received $251 billion in inflows and China received $140 billion.

Overall, the report found that foreign direct investment tanked globally, as the Covid-19 pandemic brought countries large and small to virtual stand-stills. FDI plunged 42% in 2020, to $859 billion, a 30% drop from even the depths of the 2009 financial crisis. The economic measure accounts for investments in a country made by people and businesses in other countries, such as the construction of a factory or the opening of a satellite office.

Developed countries were hit harder last year than so-called “developing” countries. Investment in the U.S. fell 49%, slightly less than the developed country average of 69%. FDI in developing countries fell a comparatively moderate 12%. China, included on that list, actually saw a small increase of 4% in its inflows. The European Union saw FDI decline by two-thirds, according to the report, with the United Kingdom seeing no new inflows. The U.K. has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus.

China surpasses U.S. as largest recipient of foreign direct investment during Covid pandemic, CNBC, Jan 25

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