The 27th Meeting of the Working Group on International Investment Statistics (WGIIS) was held concurrently with the 6th Regional Workshop on Foreign Direct Investment Statistics (FDIS) in Jogjakarta, Indonesia earlier this month. The 3-day activity was hosted by Bank Indonesia with the assistance of the ASEANstats; and featured Mr. Christie F. J. Richards, an international expert on FDIS, as the featured resource person.

The Group noted the high levels of FDI inflows during 2010 to 2011, signaling recovery from the impact of global economic uncertainty of the previous two years. From 2010, the ASEAN region has gained relative importance as a magnet for FDI. These investments have been spearheaded by relatively new players such as the Sovereign Wealth Funds and state-owned enterprises. Another characteristic of the current period is the increasing intra-ASEAN investments. The increasing role of Singapore, as a regional hub of international investments, is the prime driver of intra-ASEAN investments. The current sectoral characteristics of ASEAN FDI reflect the preferences that direct investors have for manufacturing and services industries.   

In its continuing effort to enhance the quality of FDIS, the WGIIS focused on adopting practical measures to capture foreign direct investment flows by sectoral and geographical characteristics. Towards this end, discussions were held on the effective use of various data sources for the compilation of FDIS. Challenges faced by some ASEAN Member States to obtain satisfactory data through surveys were recognised. As no “one size fits all”, some Member States would have to explore the use of administrative data and financial reports of companies as data sources in preference to surveys.