SINGAPORE (May 14): The cyclical uplift in the global economy is set to continue, generating ever-growing trade flows that will boost Asian economies. That is good news for economic growth in the near term. What matters for Asia’s long-term economic development, however, is foreign direct investment (FDI), which can build the foundations of future growth through skills development, technology transfer, provision of financial capital, integrating a country into global export markets and exposing it to global competition, which spurs continuous upgrading. FDI is important even for the more developed Asian economies such as Singapore.

Recent surveys such as the AT Kearney FDI Confidence report gave both good news as well as some warning signs that attracting FDI may not be as easy as it was in the past. If Asian economies are to continue winning the FDI game, they will have to rethink their strategies and address some of their weaknesses.

What are the recent trends that matter to Asia?

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