Singapore

ABOUT

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 created a dynamic area for discussion of issues related to foreign direct investments.

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 the possibility for exploration of unconventional industries.

With stronger economic ties through regional and cross-border partnerships in the form of trade and investment agreements, this region is continuing to remain strategic for FDI inflows. In neighbouring 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 labour, 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 through increasing since 2011, remains low compared with other developed countries. Japanese outward FDI is primarily 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 labour force, advanced research & development capabilities, quality infrastructure, dependable banking sector and savvy consumers. South Korean businesses are also at 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 that cover approximately 70 per cent of trade is helping generate FDI in the region by giving Australian businesses 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 Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the 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 organisations 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.