Foreign Direct Investment can be either inward or outward. Inward is where the economy receives from non-resident investors and outward is where resident makes investments into external economies.
Government policies are often directed at attracting Foreign Direct Investment which helps the economy and creates jobs. Areas that can attract investment are natural resources, educated/expert workforce, sophisticated banking systems and Industrial base.
As Foreign Direct Investment is so important to many of the more popular offshore jurisdictions, they are continuingly reviewing government policies, encouraging education and employment of persons with the relevant expertise skills which leads to growth in the finance industry and banking.
Currently countries that are investing in their infrastructure, suppressing corruption and introducing sound regulations are leading the way with regards to investment.
Jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Singapore have seen consistent rises in Foreign Direct Investment. Europe has witnessed recent declines with only countries like Ireland remaining strong. Developing countries have been reaching a record high with regards to Foreign Direct Investment and as such many of the African, South American and Asian countries are attracting large slices of Foreign Investment which looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The United States and China have dominated rankings for inward investment for some time, but countries like Kenya and Chile are now getting high levels and creeping up the table.
When looking to invest abroad the areas to consider are resources, including the capability and education of the workforce, government policy, corruption and economic stability.