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International Investment Perspectives 2007

Freedom of Investment in a Changing World

image of International Investment Perspectives 2007
The global environment for foreign direct investment (FDI) improved in 2006 with investment inflows in OECD countries reaching US$ 910 billion – their highest level since the record year 2000. Cross-border mergers and acquisitions – a central component of FDI – continued to grow in 2007 and could be headed for their highest-ever levels. This volume of International Investment Perspectives contains two main analytic sections. The first addresses an apparent growth in discriminatory practices toward cross-border investment in recent years motivated by concerns about national security and related essential concerns. The second main section focuses on the new opportunities arising from FDI and the changing nature of the international economy in which investment takes place.

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International Investment – Working Together for Common Prosperity

International investment and the policies underpinning it stand at a crossroads, and as I see it policy makers face at least three major challenges. First, in a number of OECD countries concerns about international investment and in particular foreign takeovers of national enterprises are on the rise. Policy makers must find ways of addressing public concerns without yielding to protectionist pressures and throwing away the benefits of decades of work to create an open, rules-based international investment environment. Second, the increase in cross-border corporate investment is part of a larger picture of international specialisation and the emergence of major new players in the global economy, which has contributed to an extended period of exceptional growth and rising prosperity. But policy makers in OECD and emerging economies need to work together to ensure that the public continues to support the open markets that deliver these benefits by fostering greater transparency, a level playing field and effective international co-operation. Third, harnessing international investment for combating poverty remains an urgent priority. While an increasing number of developing and emerging economies have benefited from international integration, many of the poorest countries especially in Africa, have been left behind.

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