Learn About FDI and its Types

Fundamentals of Foreign Direct Investment and its Types

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is cited as an investment that arrives from a company from a foreign land into another nation to expand the business. When companies, individuals, corporates or conglomerates acquire some business prepositions or assets in a different country is part of FDI.

However, it is distinguished based on foreign portfolio investment by virtue of direct control. Even the purchase of stocks or equities can fall in the category.

Organic-Inorganic Investments

FDI can minimally be done either with the strategy of expanding the existing business by amplifying its operations. That is an organic way of investment by a foreign firm. In contrast, when a company captures a business in the targetted country by buying it, such investment is considered inorganic concerning FDI.

How Does FDI Become Operational?

Foreign direct investments take place mostly in developing or open economies that offer grounds for development, investments, skilled workforce, ease of working with less paperwork and hassle-free environment. Besides, the investor has to foresee the growth of their country in that location against other nations with firm regulations. It may include provisions of technology and management along with less or no government intervention.

The vital trait of FDI is that it encompasses the control of an operational firm or become a guardian force in a foreign country. It garners a substantial influence over an entity and approaches the dissemination of industries. Also, it channelises decision making.

Considerations of FDI

Its definition cannot be arrested in the influx of money from a foreign country alone, but the inflow of expertise, knowledge, skills, technology and other peripheries that are essential in establishing the reign of a conglomerate or company.

It is an unprecedented source of non-debt finances that can blossom the economy of a country that receives them. Since a few decades, it has emerged as a radical form of transferring funds in the international market from one place to the other.

Impact of FDI

The ability to reap benefits through FDI depends on the reception of the host nation and its ability to grasp the offered. Hence, the distribution of its advantage can be uneven.

Factors Decisive For FDI in a Nation

  • Policy of privatisation
  • Geo-political, social and economic stability
  • Policy framework
  • International treaties and agreements
  • Trade policies including taxes and regulation of tariffs
  • Terms and conditions applicable to acquisitions, the functioning of companies, and their entrance.

Different Types of FDI

It is classified and compartmentalised into a conglomerate, platform, vertical and horizontal investments.

Conglomerate Investments: In this type of foreign direct investment, a conglomerate takes a risk to invest in a business which does not fall in the purview of its domain in its home country. It is entirely unrelated and a novice experience for the empire. Often, it commemorates its journey as a joint venture with the company already operating in the domain as entering into unchartered territory is perilous.

Horizontal Investments: In this type of investment, the company or an investor tries to establish the same business as run in his/her own country. For example, an automobile maker in Japan is trying to erect a plant in the US market for manufacturing cars or other vehicles.

Vertical Investments: In this type of investment activity, an investor acquires or establishes a business in the foreign nation related to his/her primary business in his/her native land. For example, a telecom company acquires a mobile manufacturer as it is directly related to underlay communication through sim cards.

Platform Investments:  It is an investment by a source country into a destination nation for manufacturing and exporting it into a third nation.

PS: As per the data from BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis), an agency tracking the expenses of FDI from other countries in the US, the approximate value of total FDI in the country in 2019 was 4.46 trillion USD including 505 billion USD from the UK. Manufacturers had the upper hand, which acquired more than forty per cent of the total foreign investment.


As per the OECD, the yardstick for establishing a controlling interest in a company through FDI makes for at least 10 per cent ownership stake in that company. However, it has been observed in some cases that effective controlling got established without ten per cent of the company’s total voting shares.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.