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Foreign direct investment reviews 2024: A global perspective

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Understanding the ever-evolving global FDI landscape is crucial amid growing regulatory complexities in cross-border transactions


Now in its eighth year of publication, White & Case's 2024 Foreign Direct Investment Reviews provides a comprehensive look at foreign direct investment (FDI) laws and regulations in more than 40 countries worldwide.

In this edition, we continue to offer key datapoints that can help inform parties and their advisors as they evaluate the new set of challenges presented by FDI screening requirements in cross-border transactions that span multiple countries.

FDI screening is continuously evolving, in fact, maturing. Stakeholders in the process, in particular FDI regulatory authorities in allied countries, are communicating and learning from each other. It is imperative to stay on top of the FDI requirements as transactions—be it mergers and acquisitions, investments, public equity offerings, debt structurings or financial restructurings—are negotiated. Understanding the potential remedies that could be required for approval and proper allocation of FDI risk are key ingredients in avoiding unpleasant surprises related to timing, certainty and business plan execution.

The number of national FDI regimes and regulatory enhancements is growing around the world, particularly in Europe, with no harmonization in terms of process and timelines. FDI regulators, at least from allied nations, are collaborating and learning from each other.

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. There is increasing coordination in the European Union (EU) between FDI authorities with the support of the European Commission.

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 the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States' 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.



The Canadian government continues to scrutinize foreign investments by state-owned enterprises and state-linked private investors, especially if from "non-like-minded" countries.

canada fdi 2022


FDI, whether undertaken directly or indirectly, is 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 without mitigation, but the CFIUS landscape has continued evolving based on a combination of expanded jurisdiction, mandatory filings applying in certain cases, enhanced focus on a broad array of national security considerations, increased rates of mitigation, further attention on monitoring, compliance and enforcement, and a substantially increased pursuit of non-notified transactions.

United States of America



The European Commission continues to be a driver of FDI screening across the EU, with Member States now moving toward coordinated enforcement.

european union fdi 2022


The wide scope, low trigger thresholds and extensive interpretation of the Austrian FDI regime require a thorough assessment and proactive planning of the M&A process.

austria fdi 2022


The Belgian FDI screening regime entered into force in July 2023. In its early days, investors and authorities alike are coming to grips with the new regime and the guidelines that help parties navigate it.



A bill contemplating the creation of a foreign direct investment screening mechanism in Bulgaria is currently before the Bulgarian parliament.


Czech Republic

The new Czech Foreign Investments Screening Act took effect in May 2021, establishing the rights and duties of foreign investors and setting screening requirements for Czech targets.

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's foreign direct investment screening mechanism entered into force on September 1, 2023.

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FDI deals are generally not blocked in Finland.



French FDI screening continues to focus on foreign investments involving medical and biotech activities, food security activities or the treatment, storage and transmission of sensitive data. The nuclear ecosystem is subject to very close scrutiny.

france fdi 2022


Following numerous amendments over the past years, Germany's FDI review continued in full swing in 2023, with further significant updates expected in 2024.

germany fdi 2022


FDI screening in Hungary – forever changing regulation, no change in its importance.

hungary fdi 2022


Ireland is expected to enact its FDI screening legislation in 2024.

ireland fdi 2022


Italy's Golden Power Law is now more than 10 years old and is continuously expanding its reach.



The law in Latvia provides for sectoral FDI regimes for specific corporate M&A, real estate dealings and gambling companies.



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



In 2023, Luxembourg adopted a national screening mechanism for foreign direct investments.



Malta's FDI regime regulates transactions that must be notified to the authorities and, in some cases, will be subject to screening.


Middle East

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

Middle East


The Netherlands, complementing its existing sector-specific regulations, has introduced a general investment screening mechanism to enhance the protection of its national security across a broader range of sectors.



The foreign direct investment regime in Norway is subject to upcoming changes, with further changes expected to come.



The Polish FDI regime – ambiguous rules, no blocking decisions and evolving market practice.



In Portugal, transactions involving acquisition of control over strategic assets by entities residing outside the EU or the EEA may be subject to FDI screening.



The Romanian regime regarding foreign direct investment appears to have become more stable in 2023, but continues to surprise.


Russian Federation

Russian laws regulating foreign investments have been considerably amended in 2023 to extend the scope of the laws as well as to strengthen control in this sphere.

Russian Federation


The new Foreign Investments Screening Act entered into force in Slovakia on March 1, 2023.



Since May 31, 2020, certain foreign investments into Slovenian companies can be subject to foreign direct investments review. Incorporation of new companies and business units can also be screened.



Certain foreign direct investments in Spain are subject to scrutiny under the Law 19/2003 (Law on the movement of capital and foreign economic transactions and on certain measures for the prevention of money laundering). These restrictions started back in 2020 and, since then, additional formalities have been introduced, specifically by the new FDI regulation, which entered into force on September 1, 2023.



In December 2023, Sweden adopted and implemented a new FDI regime, meaning that a general FDI screening mechanism now applies in relation to investments in certain Swedish businesses.



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 introduced new legislation governing FDI in 2022, which also captures domestic investment in certain sectors.




Australia's stringent foreign investment regulations, overseen by the Treasurer and FIRB, safeguard national interests and security. The framework, including the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and recent updates like the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement, emphasizes transparency and accountability, with new penalties and registration requirements enhancing oversight and compliance.



While restricting the data transfer relating to national security, China issued guidelines to further optimize its foreign investment environment. 



India continues to be an attractive destination for foreign investment, ranking as the world's eighth-largest recipient of FDI in 2023.



Certain businesses related to "Specifically Designated Critical Commodities" have been designated "core" sectors subject to Japan's FDI regime, FEFTA.


Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea continues to welcome foreign investment, with the government actively seeking to ease regulations and update the regulatory framework to be in line with global standards.


New Zealand

After a number of years of amendments under the OIA from 2018 to 2021, New Zealand has seen a period of stabilization of the overseas investment regime. However, following the recent election and change of government in New Zealand, further changes are expected to better support investments in build-to-rent housing developments.

New Zealand


Taiwan continues to promote FDI under a two-track screening mechanism for foreign and PRC investors.


Foreign direct investment reviews 2024: Luxembourg

In 2023, Luxembourg adopted a national screening mechanism for foreign direct investments.


5 min read

On July 14, 2023, Luxembourg adopted a new law introducing an FDI screening mechanism that may affect security or public order.

The law entered into force on September 1, 2023.

Summary of major changes in 2023

It is the first time in Luxembourg that a national screening mechanism has been put in place for FDI

The law implements in Luxembourg European Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of the European Commission and the Council on March 19, 2019 regarding establishing a framework for screening FDI in the EU

Who files?

Foreign investors are required to make a notification to the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy prior to making an FDI.
A foreign investor is defined as an individual or a legal entity who is not a national of either an EU Member State or a state party to the agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) that is intending to make or has made an FDI.

Types of deals reviewed

The screening mechanism applies to FDIs made by foreign investors.

An FDI is an investment of any kind made by a foreign investor that aims at creating or maintaining long-term and direct relationships between the foreign investor and the Luxembourg entity receiving the funding, thus allowing the foreign investor to effectively participate, alone, in concert or through interposition, in the control of that entity that carries out a critical activity in Luxembourg.

The notification requirement applies to FDIs, other than portfolio investments, which are likely to be detrimental to security or public order, in an entity incorporated under Luxembourg law carrying out critical activities in Luxembourg.

The following activities are deemed critical: dual-use goods; energy; transport; water; healthcare; telecommunications; data processing storage; aerospace; defense; finance; media; and agrifood.

Research and production activities directly connected to the above ancillary activities that may grant access to sensitive information directly connected to the above; or access to places where the activities listed above are carried out are also deemed critical.

The law does not provide for a minimum investment threshold, meaning that all investments, irrespective of their size, may be subject to screening.

Scope of the review

The foreign investor must notify the ministry of: the ownership structure of the foreign investor; the approximate value of the FDI; the operations of the foreign investor and the Luxembourg entity; the countries in which the foreign investor and the Luxembourg entity conduct business; the financing of the FDI and its source; and the date on which the FDI is planned or has been made.

The ministry will then decide whether a screening is required. The decision to proceed with a screening is notified to the foreign investor within two months.

If the ministry decides to proceed with a screening, the following factors will be considered: the integrity, security and continuity of supply of critical infrastructures, whether physical or virtual, linked to a critical activity; the sustainability of activities related to critical technologies and dual-use goods; supply of essential inputs, including raw materials, and food safety; access to sensitive information, including personal data, or the ability to control such information; and freedom and pluralism of the media.

The following factors may also be taken into account: if the foreign investor is directly or indirectly controlled by the government of a third country; if the foreign investor has already been involved in activities that undermine security or public order in a member state; and if there is a serious risk that the foreign investor is engaged in illegal or criminal activities.

The FDI cannot be made before a screening decision authorizing the investment is taken by the ministry.

Review process timeline

As a matter of principle, the review process of the notification must not exceed two months from its submission; and in case of initiation of the screening, the process must not exceed 60 calendar days. The ministry may request additional information throughout the screening procedure, which will be suspended until such additional information is provided.

Following the screening process, the ministry will notify its decision to the foreign investor. If the FDI is authorized, such authorization may be subject to conditions set by the ministry.

Decisions of the ministry regarding FDIs may be appealed to the Administrative Court. The appeal must be lodged within one month of the date of notification of the decision, failing which it will be time-barred.

How foreign investors can protect themselves

Foreign investors must carefully assess in advance whether the FDI is likely to be subject to the Luxembourg screening mechanism. Accordingly, at an early stage of the contemplated transaction, it is critical to adjust appropriately the transaction documentation and timing for completion, as well as to be assisted by local counsel in the notification process with the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy.

Investors may also try to restructure their investments such that they qualify for the portfolio investment exemption. According to the law, a portfolio investment is an acquisition of securities made with the intention of completing a financial investment that does not enable the foreign investor to exercise, directly or indirectly, control of the entity governed by Luxembourg law. Thus, investing in an investment fund managed by an asset manager alongside other investors should exempt investors from the requirements under the law.

Alternatively, the foreign investor may seek to ensure that it will not control the relevant entity, as control is one of the triggers for FDI notification.

"Looking ahead": Likely developments in the next year

The law entered into force recently and its impact is yet to be assessed. Some practitioners have raised the fact that certain provisions of the law were not sufficiently clear as regards the ministry's practical expectations in the context of documentation to be submitted.

To address this concern, the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy has recently issued a Q&A that clarifies the application and review process under a more practical angle. This Q&A is available on the Ministry's website.

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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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