The most profound effect has been seen in in developing countries, where yearly foreign direct investment flows have increased from an average of less than $10 billion in the 1970s to a yearly average of less than $20 billion the 1980s. From 1998 to 1999 itself, FDI grew from $179 billion to $208 billion and now comprise a large portion of global FDI. According to UNCTAD, spurred on by mergers and acquisitions and the internationalization of production in a range of industries, inward FDI for developing countries rose from $481 billion in 1998 to $636 billion in 2006.
And China is at the forefront of FDI growth, followed by Russia, Brazil and Mexico.
Image: The Economist
FDIs do not only provide an foreign capital and funds, but also provides domestic countries with an exchange of skill sets, information and expertise, job opportunities and improved productivity levels.
The "Asian Tiger" economies such as China, South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines benefitted tremendously and experienced high levels of economic growth at the onset of foreign direct investment into their economies. Given the high growth rates and changes to global investment patterns, the definition to FDI has evolved to include foreign mergers and acquisitions, investments in joint ventures or strategic alliances with local enterprises.