Wednesday, June 24, 2015



Global FDI inflows declined in 2014. Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows fell by 16 per cent to $1.23 trillion in 2014, mostly because of the fragility of the global economy, policy uncertainty for investors and elevated geopolitical risks. New investments were also offset by some large divestments. Inward FDI flows to developing economies reached their highest level ever, at $681 billion with a 2 per cent rise. Developing economies thus extended their lead in global inflows. China became the world’s largest recipient of FDI. Among the top 10 FDI recipients in the world, 5 are developing economies. The low level of flows to developed countries persisted in 2014. Despite a revival in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As), overall FDI flows to this group of economies declined by 28 per cent to $499 billion. They were significantly affected by a single large-scale divestment from the United States. Investments by developing-country multinational enterprises (MNEs) also reached a record level: developing Asia now invests abroad more than any other region. Nine of the 20 largest investor countries were from developing or transition economies. These MNEs continued to acquire developedcountry foreign affiliates in the developing world. Most regional groupings and initiatives experienced a fall in inflows in 2014. The groups of countries negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) saw their combined share of global FDI inflows decline. ASEAN (up 5 per cent to $133 billion) and the RCEP (up 4 per cent to $363 billion) bucked the trend. X World Investment Report 2015: Reforming International Investment Governance By sector, the shift towards services FDI over the past 10 years has continued, in response to increasing liberalization in the sector, the increasing tradability of services, and the growth of global value chains in which services play an important role. In 2012, services accounted for 63 per cent of global FDI stock, more than twice the share of manufacturing, at 26 per cent. The primary sector represented less than 10 per cent of the total. Cross-border M&As in 2014 rebounded strongly to $399 billion. The number of MNE deals with values larger than $1 billion increased to 223 – the highest number since 2008 – from 168 in 2013. At the same time, MNEs made divestments equivalent to half of the value of acquisitions. Announced greenfield investment declined by 2 per cent to $696 billion. Developing countries continued to attract two thirds of announced greenfield investment. Greenfield investment by both developed- and developingcountry MNEs remained unchanged. FDI by special investors varied. The significance of private equity funds in the global M&A market, with $200 billion in acquisitions in 2014, was reflected mainly in transactions involving large companies. Sovereign wealth funds, which invested $16 billion in FDI in 2014, are increasingly targeting infrastructure internationally. State-owned MNEs’ international expansion has decelerated; in particular, their cross-border M&As declined by 39 per cent to $69 billion. International production by MNEs is expanding. International production rose in 2014, generating value added of approximately $7.9 trillion. The sales and assets of MNEs’ foreign affiliates grew faster than those of their domestic counterparts. Foreign affiliates of MNEs employed about 75 million people. FDI recovery is in sight. Global FDI inflows are projected to grow by 11 per cent to $1.4 trillion in 2015. Expectations are for further rises to $1.5 trillion in 2016 and to $1.7 trillion in 2017. Both UNCTAD’s FDI forecast model and its business survey of large MNEs signal a rise of FDI flows in the coming years. The share of MNEs intending to increase FDI expenditures KEY MESSAGES XI over the next three years (2015–2017) rose from 24 to 32 per cent. Trends in cross-border M&As also point to a return to growth in 2015. However, a number of economic and political risks, including ongoing uncertainties in the Eurozone, potential spillovers from geopolitical tensions and persistent vulnerabilities in emerging economies, may disrupt the projected recovery


Julian Assange published the first batch of documents proving that the NSA targeted high-level officials in Paris for a decade on their website on Tuesday.The list are French presidents Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac, as well as cabinet ministers and the French Ambassador to the United States.
It’s not the first time that the NSA has been revealed to be spying on European leaders. The agency was found to have targeted the phone of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and even used the American Embassy in Berlin as a listening station, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published at the end of 2013. The revelation created a considerable rift between Washington and Berlin.
One of the cables dated March 24, 2010speaks about Sarkozy’s “frustration” over US spying. “Vimont (Pierre Vimont, the French ambassador in Washington – RT) conveyed that the French President will express his frustration that Washington has backed away from its proposed bilateral intelligence cooperation agreement and Sarkozy intends to continue to push for closure,” the cable reads.
While the list of phones that were spied on is redacted, French newspaper LibĂ©ration, in partnership with Wikileaks on this project, identified the numbers. They include not only individual numbers of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, his advisers and several ministries, but also of the service run by the General Secretariat of Defense and National Security (SGDSN) responsible of providing secure communications between the president and his government, also known as “the red phone.” The newspaper writes, however, there is no indication that the secure links have been compromised.
In response to the new revelations, Hollande plans to convene a meeting with top defense advisers on Wednesday to “evaluate the nature” of the leaked information and“draw useful conclusions,” the President’s office said.
Meanwhile Sarkozy’s aide stated, that the former French leader considers spying unacceptable, according to AP citing the aide.
Yet the US National Security council said that they have no comment on “specific intelligence allegations,” but stressed that as a general rule they do not spy on leaders.
“As a general matter, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose,” the statement reads.“This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike.
Media agencies
Today at 11:24 AM
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Huma Abedin
Vice Chair
Hillary for America

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