The first eight months of 2023 have seen six countries achieve an unprecedented surge in planned greenfield Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects, and Morocco has emerged as the top performer, setting new records in FDI attraction.
Morocco has become a magnet for investment, drawing close to $34 billion in greenfield FDI projects in 2023.
This astounding figure is twice the previous high of $15.8 billion, which was achieved in 2008, according to data from fDI Markets.
Morocco’s success in attracting FDI can be attributed to various factors, including a significant influx of investments from Chinese companies, particularly in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.
Morocco has also successfully secured substantial FDI projects in renewable energy, chemicals, and tourism.
Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech has signed an agreement with Morocco’s government to establish its first gigafactory in Africa within the country’s borders.
In addition to this, Zhejiang-based mining giant Huayou Cobalt has ambitious plans to invest MAD 200 billion ($19.5 billion) in an EV battery components factory in Morocco.
While Morocco takes the lead in this year’s remarkable FDI surge, several other countries have also demonstrated exceptional performance in attracting foreign direct investment.
These countries have consistently outperformed their previous FDI records and the annual FDI averages of the past decade.
In 2023, Malaysia secured the second position among the FDI outperforming nations. The country recorded approximately $28 billion worth of FDI projects, more than double the annual average seen in the decade before the pandemic.
Malaysia’s impressive FDI success can be attributed to its pro-business policies, well-established infrastructure, and growing sectors that have attracted substantial foreign investments.
Iraq occupies the third spot in this year’s ranking, attracting $24 billion worth of FDI projects in 2023. This figure is a remarkable sixfold increase over the annual FDI averages recorded between 2010 and 2019.
Iraq’s success in attracting FDI is predominantly due to major projects in the fossil fuel sector, with contributions from global players.
Israel is the fourth outperforming FDI destination in 2023. Notably, Intel’s announcement of a $15 billion investment in a new chip factory in Kiryat Gat significantly boosted Israel’s FDI profile. It’s important to note that this planned investment was announced in June, prior to the recent conflict that erupted between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip in early October.
Finland stands as the sole European country on this year’s list of FDI outperformers, recording nearly $5 billion in capital expenditure. The majority of this investment is attributed to Norway’s Blastr Green Steel project in Inkoo. This project aims to establish a green steel plant and hydrogen production facility, reflecting Finland’s commitment to sustainable and innovative industries.