World Investment Report 2019 1The World Investment Report 2019 surveys the universe of SEZs today, provides an overview of SEZ laws and regulations, and assesses the sustainable development impact of SEZs. The report offers recommendations through three lenses: lessons learned from the past, a forward-looking perspective and a pioneering idea in the form of “SDG model zones”.

According to the report, global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows continued their slide in 2018, falling by 13% to $1.3 trillion. The decline – the third consecutive year’s fall in FDI – was mainly due to large-scale repatriations of accumulated foreign earnings by United States multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the first two quarters of 2018, following tax reforms introduced in that country at the end of 2017. FDI flows to developed economies reached the lowest point since 2004, declining by 27 per cent. Inflows to Europe halved to less than $200 billion, due to negative inflows in a few large host countries as a result of funds repatriations and to a sizeable drop in the United Kingdom. Inflows in the United States also declined, by 9 per cent to $252 billion.

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Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development