Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) refers to the capital invested by a foreign company in an existing or new company. If the foreign company directly acquires a 'stake' (by contributing to capital) in an existing or new domestic business, it becomes a shareholder.
For example, when Prudential, a British company, invested in ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, by way of capital, such investment is termed FDI.
(Read The Explainer: Foreign Direct Investment)
A foreign partner (the one who brings in FDI) may bring better technology, technology transfer, expertise in executing large and complex projects (like airports), global reputation, financial leverage, access to markets elsewhere, etc.
The global economy is once again showing signs of a slowdown; if the down slide continues, then FDI inflows and outflows will also get impacted.
Chartsbin.com has an interesting interactive graphic on global FDI movements. Please use the drop down menu to visualise data on a select parameter.
Click on the graphic for a larger view.