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Metadata Glossary

Indicator NameForeign direct investment, net inflows (% of GDP)
Long definitionForeign direct investment are the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest (10 percent or more of voting stock) in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor. It is the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in the balance of payments. This series shows net inflows (new investment inflows less disinvestment) in the reporting economy from foreign investors, and is divided by GDP.
SourceInternational Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics and Balance of Payments databases, World Bank, International Debt Statistics, and World Bank and OECD GDP estimates.
TopicEconomic Policy & Debt: Balance of payments: Capital & financial account
Aggregation methodWeighted average
Limitations and exceptionsFDI data do not give a complete picture of international investment in an economy. Balance of payments data on FDI do not include capital raised locally, an important source of investment financing in some developing countries. In addition, FDI data omit nonequity cross-border transactions such as intra-unit flows of goods and services. The volume of global private financial flows reported by the World Bank generally differs from that reported by other sources because of differences in sources, classification of economies, and method used to adjust and disaggregate reported information. In addition, particularly for debt financing, differences may also reflect how some installments of the transactions and certain offshore issuances are treated. Data on equity flows are shown for all countries for which data are available.
General commentsNote: Data starting from 2005 are based on the sixth edition of the IMF's Balance of Payments Manual (BPM6).
License TypeCC BY-4.0