Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a category of investment that reflects the objective of establishing a lasting interest by a resident enterprise in one economy (direct investor) in an enterprise (direct investment enterprise) that is resident in an economy other than that of the direct investor.
The lasting interest implies the existence of a long-term relationship between the direct investor and the direct investment enterprise and a significant degree of influence on the management of the enterprise. The existence of a direct investment relationship, i.e. of a lasting interest, is evidenced by the direct or indirect ownership of 10% or more of the voting power of an enterprise resident in one economy by an investor resident in another economy.
The direct investment relationship extends in both directions along an ownership chain from an enterprise to cover all its subsidiaries, branches and associates, all the investors for which the enterprise is a subsidiary, a branch or an associate, and all its fellow enterprises. Direct investment also includes investment in real estate.