The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted multinational enterprises (MNEs). The shock came through multiple channels, including disruptions in input supply, weak demand, changing customer preferences, and rising uncertainty. Since the onset of the pandemic, the World Bank’s Global Investment Climate Unit has undertaken ‘pulse’ surveys of multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in developing countries to assess the effects of the pandemic on their operations and the outlook for foreign direct investment (FDI). Cross-border investment flows have been a key building block for the economic growth of developing countries, often providing the largest source of external finance—surpassing remittances, official development assistance, and portfolio investment flows. MNEs also play a critical role in the global economy, and FDI is a key source of capital investment and employment in developing countries, making it an important factor in recovery prospects.
The World Bank Group is conducting this survey with support from Euromoney Institutional Investor and Ernst & Young (EY). The survey is administrated periodically and the resulting sample comprises MNE affiliates (companies with full or partial foreign ownership) across developing countries. By design, the sample is evenly distributed across the six developing regions following the World Bank Group taxonomy, and across manufacturing and services sectors in each region.