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Foreign direct investment in the EBRD regions

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to economies in the EBRD regions serve as important sources of external financing. They also facilitate transfer of technology and skills and generate significant employment.

Technological change, coupled with increasing labour costs even in emerging markets and developing economies has, however, reduced the significance of many countries’ labour cost advantages.

Foreign direct investment inflows have thus peaked before the global financial crisis. They have since fallen, in the EBRD regions as in other emerging markets.

The Covid-19 pandemic hit on top of this trend and resulted in a sharp drop in inflows of FDI as lockdown measures slowed down existing investment projects, and the prospect of a deep recession led multinational enterprises to reassess new projects.

Yet going forward, foreign direct investment inflows could play an important role in supporting sustainable recoveries in a post-Covid world.

It is in this context that the following notes aim to provide an overview of the evolution of greenfield foreign direct investment projects in the EBRD regions and draw implications for employment generation, inclusion and spatial disparities going forward.

The notes focus on greenfield foreign direct investment projects—looking at new investments rather than changes in ownership (so-called brownfield flows) and at FDI-supported projects rather than the portion of financing technically considered to be FDI (equity, shareholder debt or retained profits). The analysis draws on an extensive project-level database, covering over 32,000 greenfield projects in the EBRD regions over the period 2003-2020.

The following working paper presents an overview of greenfield foreign direct investment inflows into the EBRD regions, and their implications for employment and inclusion. It also provides further methodological details for the analysis presented in the country fact sheets.

Working Paper: Those were the days? Greenfield FDI, jobs and inclusion in Emerging Europe and Central Asia

The below country fact sheets in turn present rich country-specific information on greenfield foreign direct investment inflows into selected economies.

Country fact sheets

Download zip package of factsheets

Related analysis looks at global value chains and trade in the EBRD regions, including country diagnostics and case studies.

The analysis draws on the fDi Markets database, a service from The Financial Times Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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