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Foreign direct investment reviews 2023: A global perspective

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A guide to navigating the rules for investing in countries that require foreign direct investment approval.


Now in its seventh year of annual publication, White & Case's Foreign Direct Investment Reviews provides a comprehensive look into rapidly evolving foreign direct investment (FDI) laws and regulations in approximately 40 national jurisdictions and two regions. This 2023 edition includes more than 15 new jurisdictions in addition to those covered in previous editions and summarizes high-level principles in the European Union and Middle East. Our expansion in coverage reflects the rapid global proliferation of FDI regimes and our market leading position in the field.

FDI regimes are wide-reaching in scope, from national security to public health and safety, law and order, technological superiority, and continuity and integrity of critical supply chains. They are divergent with respect to jurisdictional triggers across countries, and are almost always a black-box process.

The following are some general observations, in large part based on the 2022 CFIUS and EU annual reports:

  • The number of FDI regimes and regulatory enhancements is growing around the world, particularly in Europe. In 2021 and 2022, four EU Member States—Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands and Slovakia—implemented new FDI regimes, and in 2023, Sweden and Belgium are slated to adopt FDI screening measures (in addition to non-member Switzerland).
  • FDI regulators, at least from allied nations, are collaborating and learning from each other. CFIUS reported at its first annual conference in 2022 that it continues to host training sessions for US allies so that they can adopt similar regimes.
  • FDI regulators interpret their jurisdiction and authority broadly, especially if they believe it is in the national interest. Many regulators have "call-in," "ex officio," or "non-notified" authority.
  • Despite increased regulation, most cross-border transactions are successfully consummated, although there has been an increase in the number of cases clearing with remedies.
  • The origin of the investor remains a key concern for Western regulators. For example, China and Russia are included more and more in CFIUS's regular Q&A, asking broader and more invasive questions.

Investors conducting cross-border business need to understand FDI restrictions as they are today—and how these laws are evolving over time—to avoid disruption to realizing synergies, achieving technological development and integration, and ultimately securing liquidity.

We would like to extend a special thank-you to all of our external authors, who have provided some insightful commentary on the FDI regimes in a number of important jurisdictions. The names of these individual contributors and their law firms are provided throughout this publication.

We would also like to extend a special thank-you to James Hsiao of our Hong Kong office and Tim Sensenig of our Washington, DC office for their tireless efforts and dedication to the publication of this edition.



The Canadian government announced a strict framework to evaluate foreign investments in the critical minerals sector by state-owned enterprises and state-linked private investors, especially if from “non-likeminded” countries.

canada fdi 2022


Foreign direct investments, whether undertaken directly or indirectly, are generally allowed without restrictions or without the need to obtain prior authorization from an administrative agency.

mexico fdi 2022

United States

Most deals are approved, but expanded jurisdiction, mandatory filings applying in certain cases, enhanced focus on national security considerations, and a substantially increased pursuit of non-notified transactions have changed the landscape.

United States of America



Driven by the European Commission's guidance, Member States keep expanding their investment screening regimes. A similar trend is observed in Europe at large.

european union fdi 2022


In Austria, the Austrian Federal Investment Control Act (Investitionskontrollgesetz or the ICA) introduced a new, fully fledged regime for the screening of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and came into effect on July 25, 2020. With its wide scope of application and extensive interpretation by the competent authority, the number of screened investments has soared.

austria fdi 2022


Belgium implements an FDI screening regime by July 1, 2023.


Czech Republic

The new Foreign Investments Screening Act took effect in May 2021, and completed its first full year in operation in 2022.

czech republic fdi 2022


The scope of the Danish FDI regime is comprehensive and requires a careful assessment of investments and agreements involving Danish companies.

denmark fdi 2022


Estonia will have in place an FDI review regime by September 2023.

estonia fdi 2022


Deals are generally not blocked in Finland.



In France, FDI screening authorities have issued new guidelines to improve the transparency of the FDI process.

france fdi 2022


The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy continues to tighten FDI control, but the investment climate remains liberal in principle.

germany fdi 2022


The need for FDI screening remains in focus for deals with Hungarian dimensions.

hungary fdi 2022


Ireland anticipates adopting and implementing an FDI screening regime by Q1 2023.

ireland fdi 2022


Italian "Golden Power Law:" Ten years old and continuously expanding its reach.


Republic of Latvia

The Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine has precipitated the inclusion of provisions blocking Russian and Belarussian nationals from direct investment in a number of sectors.



All investments concerning national security are under the scope of review.



Luxembourg has introduced a bill of law to regulate foreign direct investments. The law is currently being discussed before the Luxembourg Parliament.



Malta's recently introduced FDI regime captures a substantial number of transactions that must be notified to the authorities and, in some cases, will be subject to screening.


Middle East

The Middle East continues opening to foreign investment, subject to licensing approvals and ownership thresholds for certain business sectors or in certain geographical zones.

Middle East


The Netherlands prepares for its first effective year of new FDI regulation.



Changes in the geopolitical situation have resulted in increased awareness of security threats caused by strategic acquisitions and access to sensitive technology. The ongoing review of the FDI regulations in Norway is expected to result in more effective mechanisms to identify and deal with security threats in transactions and investors should be prepared to take this into account when planning future investments in Norwegian companies that engage in sensitive activities.



The Polish FDI regime governing the acquisitions of covered entities by non-EEA and non-OECD buyers has been extended until July 2025.



Transactions involving foreign natural or legal persons that allow direct or indirect control over strategic assets may be subject to FDI screening.



The Romanian regime regarding foreign direct investment has undergone a major change in 2022, when new legislation was enacted, and is aimed at implementing relevant European Union legislation.


Russian Federation

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) tends to impose increased scrutiny in the sphere of foreign investments and has developed a number of amendments to the foreign investments laws that are aimed at eliminating legislative gaps in this sphere.

Russian Federation


On November 29, 2022, Slovakia, for the first time, adopted full-fledged foreign direct investment legislation. This legislation is effective as of March 1, 2023.



Since May 31, 2020, certain foreign investments into Slovenian companies can be subject to review. Acquisition of real estate related to critical infrastructure may also be subject to review.



The restrictions imposed by the Spanish government on foreign direct investments during the COVID-19 outbreak have remained after the pandemic.



Other than security-related screening, Sweden is currently still without a general FDI screening mechanism.



Historically, Switzerland has been very liberal regarding foreign investments. However, there has recently been increased political pressure to create a more structured legal regime for foreign investment.



Making Türkiye an attractive investment destination continues to be a priority for the government.


United Arab Emirates

Foreign direct investment is permissible in the UAE, subject to applicable licensing and ownership conditions.


United Kingdom

The UK’s National Security & Investment Act has now been in place for a year and has already made its mark, prohibiting deals on national security grounds and also requiring remedies in cases that are not subject to the mandatory notification requirement.  We expect a continued tough approach over the next year as global geo-political tensions bring national security concerns to the fore.




Australia requires a wide variety of investments by foreign investors to be reviewed and approved before completion of the investment.



China has further developed its national security regulatory regime by promulgating measures on cybersecurity review and security assessment of cross-border data transfer.



India continues to be an attractive destination for foreign investment, ranking as the world's seventh-largest recipient of FDI in 2021.



The Japanese government continues to review filings and refine its approach under the FDI regime following the 2019 amendments.



Korea is increasing the level of scrutiny of foreign investments due to growing concerns over the transfer of sensitive technologies.


New Zealand

Recent legislative reforms have increased the New Zealand government's ability to take national interest considerations into account, but have also looked to exclude lower-risk transactions from consent requirements.

New Zealand


All FDIs are subject to prior approval, but the investment climate is welcoming and liberal.


Foreign direct investment reviews 2023: Türkiye

Making Türkiye an attractive investment destination continues to be a priority for the government.

6 min read

Esma Aktaş (White & Case, Associate, Istanbul) contributed to the development of this publication

The Turkish foreign direct investment (FDI) regime is mainly regulated under the Turkish FDI Law published in 2003 and the Turkish FDI Regulation. Turkish FDI Law provides that foreign and Turkish investors should be treated equally. Moreover, the Turkish government has started investment incentive programs to maintain domestic economic stability. To that end, in 2021, Türkiye's FDI Strategy (2021 – 2023) Report was published and the relevant report aims to increase Türkiye's FDI market share in global FDI inflows to 1.5 percent by 2023.

Recent updates

  • To encourage FDI in Türkiye, the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye developed Türkiye's FDI Strategy (2021 – 2023) Report in cooperation with relevant public and private industry organizations
  • The government's strategy targets bringing in value-added investments in strategic areas in the Turkish economy and increasing Türkiye's market share in global FDI inflows
  • According to the Ministry of Industry and Technology, as of mid-2022, the number of companies with international capital in Türkiye hit 78,257, up from 5,600 in 2002
  • Moreover, according to the Central Bank of Republic of Türkiye, the FDI in Türkiye increased to US$949 million as of November 2022

Foreign-capitalized companies, or companies that become foreign-capitalized as a result of the transaction, are responsible for filing the notifications

Who files

The FDI regime is based on a post-closing notification procedure, rather than a prior approval/review procedure. There is no suspension requirement. In this context, foreign-capitalized companies, or companies that become foreign-capitalized as a result of the transaction, are responsible for filing the notifications. FDI companies are obliged to make certain notifications to the Ministry's General Directorate of Incentive Practices and Foreign Capital through an online system named E-TUYS. Moreover, foreign-capitalized companies may also designate the authorized signatories to submit any required notification via E-TUYS.

Types of deals reviewed

Under the Turkish FDI regime, FDI is defined as importing cash capital, company securities (excluding state securities), machinery and equipment, and industrial and intellectual property rights to Türkiye from abroad, or setting up a new company or branch, or joining the shareholding of a company by way of acquiring shares outside securities exchanges, or at least 10 percent shareholding or voting rights at the same amount from securities exchanged through economic assets by foreign investors.

Scope of the review

FDI companies submit any required notification to the Ministry of Industry and Technology's General Directorate of Incentive Practices and Foreign Capital through the E-TUYS online system; however, these notifications do not require an approval from the relevant ministry. In other words, mere notification is sufficient. To that end, pursuant to Article 6 of the FDI Regulation, approval is only required for companies establishing a liaison office in Türkiye.

Changes to the capital and shareholding structure of FDI companies must be notified within one month. FDI companies must also submit annual notifications by filling out a standard form requiring general information pertaining to the FDI company, including its trading name, address, tax identification number, and brief information regarding its subsidiaries and shareholding structure.

Separately, certain sector-specific legislations also include provisions related to FDI, and these legislations may require further approvals from relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, Energy Market Regulation Authority, Ministry of Treasury and Finance, and Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency for investments into these regulated sectors.

The FDI rules in Türkiye apply to transactions that will result in a change in the direct shareholding of a Turkish company. If the transaction will not result in a direct change in the shareholding structure of the Turkish subsidiary, the transaction will not be subject to any filing/notification obligations within the scope of the FDI rules in Türkiye. If the investment is considered a merger and/or acquisition or an establishment of joint venture under the Turkish merger control rules, this transaction is also subject to a mandatory filing with the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) as well.

The FDI rules in Türkiye apply to transactions that will result in a change in the direct shareholding of a Turkish company

Review process timeline

There is generally no time limit stipulated for review processes under the Turkish FDI regime. The duration of the review process would depend on the specific factual matrix in question. There is no general requirement for pre filing or initial review. For liaison offices, under Article 6 of the FDI Regulation, the application is reviewed within 15 business days after submission of all requested information and documents.

In terms of the TCA's review process for merger notifications, if the Competition Board does not respond within 30 calendar days upon a complete filing, it is considered to be a tacit approval. However, in practice, the Board almost always responds within the 30 calendar-day period by sending a written request for information. Any written request by the TCA for missing information will restart the timelines. Cases that do not raise significant competition concerns are likely to be reviewed within four to six weeks.

How foreign investors can protect themselves

The Turkish FDI regime is based on the concept of freedom to invest. Article 3 of the FDI Law provides that foreign investors can invest in Türkiye directly and they must be treated equally as local investors. Having said that, certain sectors have specific regimes because of additional concerns in relation to public security and public interest. To that end, the foreign investors should take into account whether the envisaged transaction triggers additional FDI requirements and filings under sector-specific legislation.

For cases involving potential mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures, it is also important to conduct an assessment as to whether the envisaged transaction is subject to the mandatory notification to the TCA as well. Foreign investors should bear in mind that failure to comply with the notification requirement might lead to an administrative monetary fine amounting to 0.1 percent of the turnover generated during the financial year preceding the decision date.

Looking ahead

  • Under Türkiye's FDI Strategy (2021 – 2023) Report, the Turkish government has aimed to increase its share in the global FDI market to 1.5 percent by 2023, by increasing Türkiye's performance in terms of the quality FDI profiles such as R&D, design and innovation center investments, technology-intensive production investments and export-oriented production investments, and developing FDI-related regulatory framework and support and incentive mechanisms
  • Considering that the FDI Law was introduced in 2003, we expect that the Ministry might introduce further developments to the Turkish FDI legal framework and procedure in the near future, to bring the law into closer alignment with European Commission practice
  • Based on the findings of the FDI Strategy Report, we can expect the introduction of new regulations on environment and sustainability matters such as the European Green Deal

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This article is prepared for the general information of interested persons. It is not, and does not attempt to be, comprehensive in nature. Due to the general nature of its content, it should not be regarded as legal advice.

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