Like other economic activities, foreign direct investment (FDI) has been going through dramatic changes since the end of 2008. The unusual magnitude of the ongoing economic and financial crisis - the worst in the last 60 years - raises major concerns about the propensity and capability of TNCs to continue investing and expanding abroad. Faltering profits, reduced access to financial resources, declining market opportunities, as well as the risk of a possible worsening of the current global economic downturn are obvious causes for a fall in FDI flows. This in turn also raises concerns among host countries - especially in the developing world - which rely heavily on international investments to finance their domestic growth and employment creation.
To what extent will the crisis affect FDI flows? When can a rebound be expected? Which host regions and industries will be most affected? One possible way to gain insights into these issues is to question TNC executives about the effect of the crisis on their international investment strategies. This is the major focus of this year's World Investment Prospects Survey.