Apr 2023

The New World of Foreign Direct Investment: Editor’s overview

When World War II ended, the global economy lay in ruins. While the United States emerged relatively unscathed as compared to the rest of the world, world trade necessary to repair the global economy was basically non-existent.

In a rare display of true international cooperation, world leaders came together in 1944 to brainstorm ways to jumpstart post-war rebuilding. With the creation of multinational organizations such as the United Nations and financial organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), countries slowly began to recover from the massive war-wrought devastation. Fiscally focused organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Central Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and others emerged to focus on the revival of targeted economic regions. Their efforts were supplemented by more politically focused organizations like the European Union (EU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Andean Community (CAN). 

At the core of all of these initiatives is the World Trade Organization (WTO). Established in 1995, the WTO’s primary goal is to formulate and enforce rules of trade to assist those producing goods and services and those facilitating importing and exporting around the world. In short, the freer and less constrained world trade is, the better the chances of growing the global economy.

This global integration has been responsible for one amazing accomplishment. Between 1990 and 2019, the world poverty rate1 plummeted from 38% to 8.4%. This was an extraordinary result. However, some countries did pay a high cost. For example, non-farm payroll jobs (e.g., U.S. manufacturing jobs) dropped from 16% in January 1990 to about 8.4% in August 2022 as manufacturing was increasingly outsourced.

As this book is going to press, inflation has soared, financial security is uncertain, consumer confidence is waning, and military tensions are on the rise throughout the world. Growing pressures from a fractured global supply chain are forcing countries everywhere to question their historical approaches to global trade. For decades, a key component contributing to positive economic growth has been foreign direct investment (FDI). Given today’s economic climate, is FDI viewed as a positive or a negative? Will globalization as we have known it for decades continue or recede? This book will examine FDI from the perspective of fifteen countries on six continents. We have gathered from some of the best legal minds in the world what we hope are clear and helpful insights into what is happening now and what to expect in the future. 


Dennis Unkovic

Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP


[1] The percentage of individuals living on less than USD 3.65 per day.

Contributing Firm




Angela Harvey
James Skelton
Mary Digiglio


Eduardo Tranjan
Gabriel Bon de Macedo
Hermano De Villemor Amaral (neto)
Mariana Rossi


Trayan Targov


Junzhou JIN
Shihao XIAO
Shuaijie LU


Peter Jaari


Neil Robertson


Dr. Anton M. Ostler


Darcy H. Kishida
Hiromasa Ogawa
Naoki Takahashi


Jinaro Kipkemoi Kibet, SC
Lorraine Igoki Njiru


Alejandro Martínez Galindo
Hugo Cuesta Leaño


Christoph Morck

Republic of Korea

Jihn U. Rhi
Jong Jae Lee


Ismaël M’rad

United Kingdom

Carolyn Thurston Smith
Jen Lee
Mark Hough
Nicola Tong
Russell Gardner
Sally Jones

United States

Dennis Unkovic

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