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Foreign direct investment in NZ continues to increase

Foreign direct investment in New Zealand continues to increase
26 September 2019

The value of foreign direct investment (FDI) in New Zealand rose to $113.0 billion at 31 March 2019, Stats NZ said today.

This rise continues an upward trend since the series began in 2001.

FDI is where a non-resident investor owns equity which gives them 10 percent or more of voting shares in a New Zealand business.

At 31 March 2019, Australia was New Zealand’s largest source of FDI ($56.9 billion), rising from $19.1 billion at 31 March 2001. The other major source countries to New Zealand’s FDI at 31 March 2019 were Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China ($9.6 billion), the United States ($7.4 billion), Japan ($5.6 billion), and the United Kingdom ($5.3 billion).

“The top five rankings for FDI by country were relatively stable up to 31 March 2014. Since then, Hong Kong has surpassed Japan, the UK, and the US,” balance of payments manager Sarah Williams said.

Hong Kong (SAR) was New Zealand’s second-largest source of FDI at 31 March 2019 ($9.6 billion), rising from $1.1 billion in 2012. From the tenth-largest source in 2012, Hong Kong (SAR) surpassed Japan and the UK in 2015, and the US in 2018. The US was the third-largest FDI source at 31 March 2019, peaking at $12.1 billion at 31 March 2008, but has since has since declined by $4.7 billion.

“Japan surpassed the UK to become the fourth-largest source of FDI in March 2018, although the two countries have had similar values before, with Japan briefly higher than the UK between 2011 and 2012,” Ms Williams said.

Foreign direct investment by industry

At 31 March 2019, the financial and insurance services industry was the largest recipient of FDI. Since 2009, it has more than doubled to $38.4 billion in 2019. FDI in the primary sector has also steadily increased over the same period, with investment in agriculture, forestry, and fishing rising to $9.4 billion (mainly in forestry). Investment in manufacturing has steadily increased since 2014.

At 31 March 2019, total foreign investment in New Zealand was $429.2 billion. This includes FDI ($113.0 billion), portfolio investment ($221.2 billion), other investment ($77.0 billion), and financial derivatives ($18.0 billion). Overall, the major sources of total foreign investment in New Zealand were Australia, the UK, and the US.

Information about the data

Foreign direct investment in New Zealand – Datainfo+ has more information about the data in this news story.

The Government Statistician authorises all statistics and data we publish.

For more information about these statistics:
• Visit Balance of payments and international investment position: Year ended 31 March 2019


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