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A significant drop in foreign direct investment into developed economies in 2017 precipitated a global decline of 23% from the previous year, according to the World Investment Report 2018, published by UNCTAD, although investment in developing and emerging economies remained stable.
The UN trade and development agency says the decline is partly down to a 22% decrease in the net value of cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and of 14% in the value of announced greenfield investments. Rates of return on FDI have also fallen, from an average of 7.0% worldwide in 2016 to 6.7% last year, with even sharper drops for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.