Russia has held firm as fDi’s most diversified commodity economy, followed by Ukraine and Ecuador, in the second annual index measuring the diversity of greenfield foreign investment. Cathy Mullan examines the results. 

Russia is the world’s most diversified commodity economy globally for greenfield FDI, according to investment monitor fDi Markets. Between 2003 and 2016 the largest economy in eastern Europe recorded more than 4400 investment projects across 39 sectors. The country’s top investment sector was financial services, which accounted for nearly 10% of greenfield FDI, followed by industrial machinery (more than 7%) and food and tobacco (7%). Recent mega-investments in the country include China-based AVIC Forestry, which created 4000 jobs at its new timber processing facility in the Novosibirsk region to address growing demand from China. Russia will have to overcome several hurdles, including volatile oil prices, foreign sanctions and a struggling currency, to continue attracting investors.

Ukraine has risen to second place from 2016’s fifth position, having welcomed 957 investments (less than one-quarter of Russia’s total) across 38 sectors. More than one-fifth of all the country’s capital investment from greenfield FDI was in real estate, and worth more than $10bn. Financial services accounted for more than 11% ($5.4bn), and alternative and renewable energy for more than 9% ($4.5bn).

In total, 25 locations were ranked based on the level of diversification in FDI. A strong correlation exists between the number of FDI projects a commodity economy receives and its degree of diversification. Broadly speaking, the greater the number of investments, the more diversified a location is likely to be.


The index analysed 25 commodity economies across 39 FDI sectors to determine how diversified their levels of greenfield FDI have been since 2003.

fDi used the Hirschman Index for export diversification as a base and calculated a score for FDI projects and capital investment using data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.The scores for each location ranged between zero (fully diversified) and one (fully specialised). The lower the score, the more diversified the economy is in terms of FDI; the higher the score, the more concentrated.

The fDi Diversification Index is a weighted average of the fDi Diversification Score for FDI projects and FDI capital investment. For FDI projects, the result is the square root of the sum of the square of the number of projects in sector x, divided by the total number of projects, for each of the sectors in which the location receives FDI. The index then applies equal weight (50%:50%) to both projects and capital investment figures to give the overall index score.

In a change of methodology from last year, the list of locations was devised by analysing economies with at least 40% of their goods exports derived from commodities* and a minimum of 25 inward greenfield FDI projects. Thirty-nine economies met the criteria.

Commodity economy diversification

* HS codes included 9-10; 17-18; 24-29; 52; 72-80.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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