Ireland retains top global value ranking for attracting FDI

Business, Economy | Thu 31 Aug | Author – Business & Finance
Dublin FDI investment

A new report shows Ireland has retained top global value ranking for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI)

IBM’s annual Global Locations Trends report has once again pegged Ireland as the best value for money for foreign direct investment (FDI), for the sixth year in a row.

The report opens with a cautionary note this year, warning that “clouds of uncertainty shroud future prospects of global investment flows”, tempering the pessimism by noting that “the opportunities for accessing international markets and leveraging global supply chains are expected to continue to drive foreign investment activity in the future.”

While India, USA and Mexico lead the pack in terms of number of jobs created, and the Western Balkans punch above their weight relative to population size, Ireland stood out head and shoulders above the rest of the world when it comes to value. In a ranking dominated by mature economies, Denmark and Singapore follow behind in second and third place, although Hungary and Costa Rica made their way into the top ten, in fifth and eighth place respectively.


When it comes to cities, London holds dominance in terms of number of FDI projects in 2016, followed by Amsterdam-Rotterdam and Paris, while Dublin comes in at number 14 on the list. How Brexit will change that ranking in next year’s list will be a telling marker. Already there was a marked decrease in the number of new investment projects in London last year, and Paris too, with investors nervous in the aftermath of terrorist attacks. Amsterdam-Rotterdam is the most serious contender to take the crown, with consistent growth and particular interest from ICT companies.


Companies from the USA and Germany are the greatest drivers of FDI investment globally, with solid economic growth leading to firms expanding their global footprints and activities. China and South Korea are the most interesting growth areas, with China now ranked fourth in the world in terms of outward investment. China’s outward investment covers a wide variety of sectors, and is also widely dispersed geographically across Africa, Asia, North and South America, although investment in Europe remains modest in comparison. Conversely, Japan has been turning inward, continuing a trend begun in 2012.

Transport equipment continues to the number one sector for global FDI, followed by tourism, with ICT climbing up the chart to number three spot, with numerous new sub-sectors such as fintech and cybersecurity software gaining prominence.

Read the full report here.