Comercio y mercados

Methodology and scope of the data

Unless otherwise indicated, statistics and figures on foreign investments in agriculture are generated from fDi Markets data. fDi Markets is a private database and part of Financial Times Ltd, which has tracked green-field foreign direct investment projects since 2003 from media sources, industry organisations and investment agencies, as well as information from market research and publication companies (fDi Markets website 2015). Data from fDi Markets may differ substantially from official data such as that provided by UNCTAD or OECD.

Data collection

Whereas UNCTAD and OECD receive data from national authorities, fDi Markets collects data from media sources, industry organisations and investment agencies as well as information from market research and publication companies. It provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive data on FDI projects, including motivations for investment if possible. Although the database managers are doing their best to record all investments, some investments may thus not be known, or may be tracked and recorded at a later stage.

Types of FDI taken into account

Furthermore, fDi Markets provides information only on greenfield investment and joint ventures that lead to a new physical operation, while UNCTAD and OECD track all net FDI flows, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and equity investments. Thus, UNCTAD and OECD data may be substantially higher than that provided by fDi Markets.


Official data and data in fDi Markets are classified according to different standards. fDi Markets classifies projects according to clusters, sectors, sub-sectors and business activities, the classification of sub-sectors being aligned with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2007 (fDi Markets website 2015). Conversely, OECD and UNCTAD use the Third Revision of the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC3). Data in fDi Markets hence refers to clusters (e.g. food, beverages and tobacco), while official data refers to primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.

Tracking of capital flows 

fDi Markets tracks the capital investment at the date of announcement of the investment, while official data tracks FDI at the date the capital effectively crosses borders. fDi Markets data may thus at times reflect intentions rather than effectively carried out investments.