Mexico received 21 billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2008, down 16 percent from a year earlier, a UN report published Thursday said.
In its annual report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ranked Mexico 18th on its list of 20 major FDI destinations. This was far behind Brazil, Russia, India and China, generally considered to be Mexico's close competitors for such investment.
FDI inflows to Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, rose by nearly 29 percent to 45 billion U.S. dollars last year.
"Brazil has seen investment shoot up in recent years because it has opened up economic sectors, like oil and agriculture, that Mexico has not," UNCTAD consultant Gregorio Canales explained.
UNCTAD expects FDI to fall by as much as 45 percent in Latin America this year as a result of the financial crisis. This crisis has hit private equity firms hard and caused big companies to cut their spending.
Mexico is expecting a decrease of around 23 percent in FDI inflows this year.