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Indirect FDI

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This article analyses indirect FDI, denoting investment projects, in which the ultimate owner is different from the immediate investor. Reasons for the existence of this type of investment projects can be mostly corporate strategies and tax considerations. The development impact of indirect FDI is not necessarily negative; however it varies by the key types of indirect FDI (delegation of power to regional headquarters, nearshoring, concealed investment, and round tripping). It also depends on how the project money is transhipped: through an affiliate abroad, or through a special purpose entity. Government polices may influence largely the extent and development impact of indirect FDI, especially through tax policies. The phenomenon deserves more attention in the future, as currently indirect FDI is an under-researched topic.

Affiliations: 1: Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva, Switzerland,


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