India to be among top 20 countries for FDI inflows this year: UN body.

• In 2018, foreign investment by India was flat at $11 billion

• IPAs rank the US and China as the most likely sources of foreign investment to their countries

Once a small player, India may break into the league of top 20 countries for outbound foreign direct investment (FDI) as early as the end 2019, according to a survey of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) by United Nations Conference on Trade and Investment (UNCTAD). In 2018, foreign investment by India was flat at $11 billion.


"India and the United Arab Emirates, not traditionally in the top 20 outward investor countries, were also considered among the top 10 most important sources of FDI for the 2019 to 2021 period," UNCTAD said in its latest World Investment Report.

India’s FDI outflows more than doubled in 2017 to $11.3 billion, mostly led by public sector enterprise Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) which bought a 15% stake in an offshore field in Namibia from Tullow Oil - founded in Ireland and headquartered in the United Kingdom.

IPAs rank the US and China – in a joint first place – as the most likely sources of foreign investment to their countries. Three large European economies – the UK, Germany and France – were considered the next most important sources of FDI.

After declining 9% in 2017, FDI inflows into India rose 6% in 2018 to $42 billion, according to the report. However, India’s rank as a source country for FDI fell one notch to 10th position, as Spain raced ahead of India.

Notable megadeals in 2018 included the acquisition of Flipkart, India’s biggest e-commerce platform, by US-headquartered Walmart. In addition, telecommunication deals involving Vodafone (United Kingdom) and American Tower (United States) amounted to $2 billion.

Announced greenfield investment into India doubled to $56 billion in 2018, with projects in a number of manufacturing industries, including automotive. (Source: Livemint)

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