Dynamic Foreign Direct Investing

Expertise and Experience

The Asia-Pacific FDI Network is a dynamic network of researchers, scholars, and practitioners in the field of foreign direct investment (FDI). The Network receives contributions from experts and practitioners in various disciplines including law, economics, business studies, history, political science, management, geography, etc. The diverse background of experts from both common law and civil law countries, developed or developing countries, small or large states adds to the comprehensiveness and scholarly pursuits of the discussions. The focus of the Network is on the strategic APAC region. Of late the Network has also worked to create a dynamic area for discussion of issues related to foreign direct investments.

Asia Pacific FDI Network affiliated experts collaborate with FDI key actors that include private investors and international and regional lenders such as the Asia Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and World bank (WB). Our experts regularly act as consultants  for national governments and international and regional agencies such as the International Trade Center (ITC), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT)

On account of several regional, bilateral and plurilateral initiatives that have been undertaken by APAC countries, such as the Belt & Roads Initiative, there has been greater global interest in cross-border investment especially by American and European investors. Moreover, in the recent past, intra-regional trade between APAC nations has resulted in more than half of the total APAC trade worldwide. The Network through its scholarship also helps explore options for foreign investors to diversify their investments. For example, scholarship on China has shown that it is the source of a quarter of the imports for all other countries in the region and is the number one export destination for 21 economies in the region, opening possibility for exploration of unconventional industries.

With stronger economic ties through regional and cross-border partnerships in form of trade and investment agreements, this region is continuing to remain strategic for FDI inflows. In neighboring India, since 1991 the investment climate has improved considerably. India’s growth story has been aided in part by incoming FDI. While the inflow has been consistently rising, among other things, due to India being an attractive destination on account of eased foreign exchange norms, low cost of labor, availability of a vast market. Therefore, as the country and its businesses have developed, outbound FDI is also gaining pace in India.

In Japan on the other hand, the inflow of FDI though increasing since 2011, still remains low when compared with other developed countries. Japanese outward FDI is largely made in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, finance, electrical machinery, insurance etc. Korea’s major trading partners making FDI are China, EU, USA and Japan. South Korea is an attractive destination because it provides the foreign investor with access to a highly skilled labor force, advanced research & development capabilities, quality infrastructure, dependable banking sector and savvy consumers. South Korean businesses are also on the forefront when it comes to investing abroad. Over the past few years, the outflow of FDI has more than doubled.

In Australia, a network of 14 free trade agreements which cover approximately 70 per cent of trade are helping generate FDI in the region by giving Australian business preferential access to fast-growing markets, including in the proximate Asian region. FDI in Australia is spurred by Australian businesses pioneering new ways of adapting technology (example: fintech and agtech), exploring new developments through research & development and a host of new opportunities in the mines and minerals industry, thus creating fresh prospects for investment and growth. Both Japan and Australia are also members of the on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and scholarship of the Network helps us to better understand the relationship of FDI with these countries.

In addition to research on these countries the Network also looks at organizations such as the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) which serves as the United Nations’ regional hub and promotes cooperation among countries to and works to support governments in their aims to achieve both inclusive and sustainable development, the Asian Development Bank which also works on promoting inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development in the APAC region by providing loans, technical assistance, grants and equity investments to its member countries and partners, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, headquartered in Beijing, is a multilateral development bank which aims to improve social and  economic outcomes in Asia and has 103 members from across the world with several members from the APAC region among others.