Weekly Chart: Tracking FDI Flows in Latin America

By Carin Zissis

Which countries receive the highest levels of foreign direct investment and which ones are investing the most abroad? 

2014 wasn’t such a hot year for global investment flows. Foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped by 7 percent worldwide and the decline was worse in Latin America and the Caribbean, where it slipped by 16 percent, as shown in a May report by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The organization predicts another decline for this year, ending a decade-long trend of FDI growth in the region. In fact, from 2003 to 2013, investment flows rose from $47 billion to $190 billion.

Despite the slowdown, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena cautioned that countries shouldn’t move to try to boost investment flows, “but rather towards attracting the FDI that contributes to productive diversification.” 

But not all countries took an FDI hit. Among the region’s seven largest economies, Chile saw the biggest rise at 14 percent and also led in terms of outflows as well. Meanwhile, Paraguay’s FDI jumped by 230 percent and El Salvador by 53 percent—the largest increase in Central America.

Check out the charts below to track FDI in the region.