foreign direct investment is a cross-border investment in which a resident or company of one country exercises control or significant influence over the management of a business in another country. (On the other hand, these are the the most self-sufficient economies in the world.)

To determine the countries where foreigners control the largest share of the economy, 24/7 Wall St. looked at net foreign direct investment inflows and gross domestic product data from the world Bank. Countries have been ranked according to the percentage of foreign direct investment to total GDP. GDP and FDI figures are in current US dollars for 2020. Macau data is for 2019. 195 countries had data. Other information came from sources such as the insurance company Lloyds of London and the United States State Department.

Some of the countries on the list are tax havens, such as the Republic of Seychelles, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. These countries offer offshore corporate structures, zero or low tax policies, political stability and little accountability.

Other countries attract foreign direct investment because they are rich in resources such as oil, timber, natural gas and bauxite. These nations include Mauritania, Sierra Leone and Mongolia. $20 billion liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique is the largest FDI in Africa, according to Foreign Affairs.

Infrastructure needs top the list of countries such as Somalia and Macao, and China is investing its burgeoning wealth in infrastructure projects in Grenada, Congo and Guyana. (Find out if any of the countries on this list are also part of the poorest countries in the world.)

Nations that gained independence from colonial powers or countries that held them as possessions retained economic ties to their former occupants, such as the African nation of São Tomé and Príncipe with Portugal and the Pacific island nation of Palau and the states -United.

For reference, foreign direct investment as a percentage of gross domestic product in the United States is 1.01% and the total amount of foreign direct investment is $211.29 billion, the second highest in the world. For China, foreign direct investment as a percentage of GDP is 1.44% and total foreign direct investment is $212.47 billion, the highest among the 195 countries on the list.

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