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Foreign Direct Investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is an engine for growth, but inflows—and competition for them—are tightening. We help governments take an end-to-end approach to accelerate and attract investment.

Foreign direct investment has undergone a sea change as digital economies, geopolitics, and factory automation spark declines in FDI inflows. To attract investment, governments need to create value propositions that don’t just resonate but differentiate.

Some countries are already on this path. With strategies to spur local innovators, ecosystems, and talent, they’re creating assets—and opportunities—that help them stand out in a heated FDI environment. Success requires a holistic, end-to-end approach to drawing and facilitating investment. For many countries, that will be a sea change, too.

BCG’s Approach to Foreign Direct Investment

With many products now taking digital form, and Industry 4.0 technologies making it more practical to reshore certain work, governments need to create an effective—and sustainable—engine for foreign direct investment in international business.

Our foreign investment consultants work with key stakeholders—such as investment promotion agencies (IPAs) and ministries of development—to create strategies and structures that drive FDI, job creation, and economic development for the long term.

And because we can call on a global network of experts, covering a full range of topics and capabilities, we can help at every step along the FDI journey:

  • Diagnosis. We assess a country’s FDI readiness: analyzing the quantity and quality of FDI inflows; measuring the effectiveness of current enablers, policies, and incentives; and identifying roadblocks.
  • Value Proposition. We help countries identify ways to leverage their existing, nascent, and potential strengths to meet important market needs—and stand out in a crowded FDI landscape.
  • Enablers. We work with governments to develop policies, incentives, and resources that support their value propositions and accelerate investment. This includes everything from streamlining bureaucratic processes to creating full-fledged innovation centers.

Our experience on the other side of the equation—assisting global companies with their location and sourcing strategies for foreign direct investment—is another key asset we can call upon. By understanding business requirements and challenges, in industries as varied as agriculture and technology, we help countries develop the kind of compelling value propositions that generate FDI opportunities. And keep generating them.

Our Client Work in Foreign Direct Investment

The geographies and strategies may differ, but all of our foreign direct investment work shares one overarching goal: to convert investments into sustainable economic development. We achieve this through experience, collaboration, and innovation. Here are a couple of examples:


Rwanda’s Investment Accelerator. Our foreign investment consultants worked with the government of Rwanda to create the country’s first investment accelerator: a central hub to propel FDI in a landlocked country with a relatively small population. The investment accelerator manages the investment process from end to end, identifying where to focus, developing value propositions, designing deals, and building long-term government capacity. And it moves fast, utilizing the same agile principles that have transformed many private-sector firms and can transform FDI. In its first 18 months, the investment accelerator sparked $130 million in investment and created 9,000 jobs, with another 20,000 jobs created indirectly.


Innovation in Bangladesh. We developed the country’s emerging-tech center of excellence to drive innovation and talent growth at a national level. The center has enabled Bangladesh to position itself as a hub for emerging technology and get the country—and local companies—on the radar of global IT and business-process-outsourcing (BPO) firms. Within two years, the initiative created more than 1,500 jobs and more than $50 million in export revenues.

Our Proprietary Foreign Direct Investment Tools

One other unique resource we tap: our FDI Tool Box, a set of proprietary tools that support our experts and clients in assessing FDI readiness, identifying obstacles, and attracting FDI in a more efficient and sustainable manner.

Explore Our Insights on Foreign Direct Investment

Meet Our Foreign Investment Consultants

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