Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows fell by nearly half (49%) in the first half of 2020 compared to 2019 due to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic as lockdowns around the world caused MNCs, the major sources of such funds, to slow or pause to re- assess their projects says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) in a recent report.

The organisation now expects full-year FDI flows to fall by between 30% and 40% from the pre- vious year. Singapore, however, had a different story to tell. “We had a good momentum coming into 2020 from 2019,” says Beh Swan Gin, chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB) at the agency’s annual year-
in-review briefing on Jan 20. Companies continued with their investment plans here as Singapore is seen as a “trusted and attractive business location for transformation, innovation and growth”, he adds.

The city state secured some $17.2 billion in fixed asset investments (FAI) in 2020, far exceeding its medium to long-term target range of between $8 billion and $10 billion, says EDB, the government
agency that focuses on attracting investments to Singapore. This is up from the $15.2 billion in FAIs secured in 2020 and, interestingly, is the highest since the $18 billion netted in 2008.

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