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OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment 2008

Fourth Edition

image of OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment 2008

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a major driver of globalisation. The OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment sets the world standard for FDI statistics. It provides a single point of reference for statisticians and users on all aspect of FDI statistics, while remaining compatible with other internationally accepted statistical standards. This edition introduces new analytical data breakdowns and statistical treatments that better reflect the realities of today’s world economy. The revised Benchmark Definition provides methods for classifying different types of FDI (e.g., mergers and acquisitions, greenfield investments) and for identifying the ultimate investor. The new edition now addresses the uses of FDI statistics, including globalisation indicators, and provides a chapter relating to the statistics on the activities of multinational enterprises.

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FDI and Globalisation

The statistical indicators on foreign direct investment (FDI) that are at the core of this benchmark definition relate to transactions and positions between direct investors and their direct investment enterprises, rather than to the overall financing and operations of those enterprises. For example, the direct investment position measures the equity and debt financing provided by direct investors and excludes any such financing that may have been provided by other owners or lenders. Similarly, direct investment income includes the direct investors’ shares in the earnings and the interest payments of direct investment enterprises, but it excludes the shares of others. Measures of inputs used and output produced by direct investment enterprises, such as employment and value added, fall outside the scope of FDI statistics.

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