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Foreign investment monitor

Issue 7
November 2023

Welcome to our seventh Foreign investment monitor

In this edition, we delve into changing FDI regimes across multiple continents.

Amid ongoing global instability, FDI regulatory regimes continue to change, taking account of post-COVID changes to economies and the developing global political situation, focusing on different types of investors and target sectors.

A recent U.S. Executive Order, when implemented, will impose notification requirements on, and in some cases entirely prohibit, U.S. investments in Chinese companies in sensitive technologies, particularly in the semiconductor and quantum/supercomputing sectors. However, it may not bring about the sweeping “reverse CFIUS” that some policymakers have sought and many in industry have feared.

Canada’s stable economy, natural resources and predictable legal framework make for a desirable destination for foreign investors. However, foreign investments are subject to stringent regulatory oversight, as contributors from our StrongerTogether network explain.

Almost exactly three years after the European Commission’s EU Foreign Direct Investment Screening Regulation entered into force, the Commission has published its Third Annual Report, finding more FDI regimes, fewer cases, and more Phase II proceedings and prohibitions.

Governments in Europe are opting for stricter investment review policies, looking to protect national interests. Belgium and the Netherlands recently introduced a general FDI regime, while Spain has made a number of changes to its existing FDI regime. These developments have potentially significant implications, as we explain with contributions from the authors of the latest Foreign Investment Regulation Review.

In the APAC region, more developed economies have been tightening scrutiny of foreign investments on national security grounds, while economies that are developing have been relaxing restrictions to accelerate economic growth. As our graphic shows, the result is a very broad and sometimes eclectic range of rules, informed by local economic, political and regulatory considerations.

We hope these insights will help provide the knowledge necessary to navigate this complex landscape. But if you would like to discuss any FDI issue in more detail, we would be delighted to arrange a meeting. And let us know if there’s something you'd like to see us cover in the next monitor.

Our team

Please get in touch with us or your usual Freshfields contact if you would like to discuss these or any other regulatory issues in more detail.