ASEAN Investment Report 2017: Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Zones in ASEAN

Investment between firms in the 10 member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rose to a record US$24 billion in 2016 thanks to increased financial strength and cash holdings, as well as a growing drive to internationalize their operations, according to this year's investment report for the region. jointly published by the ASEAN Secretariat and UNCTAD, the report says that intraregional investment in 2016 accounted for the first time for a quarter of all foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the regional grouping, which includes Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam ( with(with Papua New Guinea as an observer). The rise in intra-ASEAN investment in 2016 was driven by a two-thirds increase in investment in manufacturing, to US$8.3 billion, and a doubling of investment in finance, to US$5 billion, the report says. ASEAN countries also saw a surge in inflows in 2016 from a number of several major source countries, despite a general downward trend of FDI in developing economies. FDI flows from the European Union, for example, rose by 46% to US$30.5 billion, while those from China increased by 44% to US$9.2 billion.