China overtook the United States as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic amplified the eastward shift in the center of gravity of the global economy.
New investment by foreign companies in the United States, which has occupied the number one spot for decades, fell 49% in 2020, according to United Nations figures released on Sunday, as the country struggles to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and slump economic production.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said that China, which has long been ranked second, has seen direct investment by foreign companies increase by 4%. Beijing used strict lockdowns to largely contain Covid-19 after the disease It first appeared in the city of central ChinaChina’s GDP grew even as most of the other major economies contracted last year.
The 2020 investment figures underscore China’s move toward the center of the global economy that has long been dominated by the United States – a shift that accelerated during the pandemic as China consolidated its position as the world’s factory floor and expanded its share of global trade.
While China attracted more new inflows in the past year, the total stock of foreign investment in the United States is still much greater, reflecting the decades it has spent as the most attractive location for foreign companies looking to expand outside their home markets.
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