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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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: Türkiye

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


8 min read

Zeynep Özgültekin (ONaL Attorneys At Law) and İlayda Akça (CORE & Law and Economics) contributed to the development of this publication

The Turkish FDI regime is mainly regulated under the Turkish FDI Law published in 2003, and the Turkish FDI Regulation, which provides that foreign and Turkish investors should be treated equally. Moreover, the Turkish government has been carrying out investment incentive programs to maintain domestic economic stability. For the period 2021 – 2023, a comprehensive foreign direct investment strategy program was published by the Presidency Investment Office of the Republic of Türkiye, aiming to increase Türkiye's FDI share in the global FDI market. There are as yet no programs published specifically for the FDI Strategy concerning subsequent years. Having said that, the Medium-Term Program for 2024 – 2026, which was published on September 6, 2023, provides foundational principles for the enhancement of the business and investment environment in Türkiye.

Summary of major changes in 2023

  • To encourage FDI in Türkiye, the Presidency of Strategy and Budget of the Republic of Türkiye published the Medium-Term Program reflecting, among others, Türkiye's FDI strategy outlining legal and public advancements. Accordingly, the program sets forth that transparent and predictable regulations in compliance with the international norms will be adopted, and the bureaucratic procedures will be simplified. More specifically, while the regulations on issues of urgency for direct investments will be placed on the agenda of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye earlier; the transactions such as permits and licenses for investments will be transferred to online platforms, so that the processes will be shortened
  • According to the Ministry of Industry and Technology, as of October 2023, the number of companies with international capital operating in Türkiye reached 80,504, up from 5,600 in 2002
  • In contrast to previous years, there has been no official government announcement made or report published on FDI in Türkiye in 2023. However, government officials are conducting meetings with investors to address and eliminate the concerns around FDI in Türkiye

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.

Special requirements set forth in specific sectors

FDI in Türkiye is not restricted, and foreign investments are treated in the same way as their local counterparts under the relevant legislation. Indeed, the FDI Law sets out that foreign investors are allowed to make investments in Türkiye unless otherwise stipulated in specific laws or international treaties. On the other hand, there are various sectors with exceptions that either entail specific restrictions on foreign shareholdings or require the grant of permissions for investments in the relevant sectors.

The Civil Aviation Act No. 2920 requires written agreements to be concluded for the acquisitions of Turkish civil aircraft and subsequently such agreements should be notified to the aviation registry held within the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. In addition, the legislation also requires the majority shareholders of Turkish aircraft operators to be Turkish, and stipulates that an aircraft is deemed a Turkish aircraft only if it is owned by a Turkish citizen. If it is owned by the companies and cooperatives registered in the Turkish Trade Registry, it shall be deemed to be a Turkish aircraft only if the majority of the individuals authorized to manage and represent the company are Turkish citizens and if the majority of the votes are held by Turkish partners.

The Radio and Television Broadcasting Law No. 6112 also sets out specific requirements for the establishment and share ratios of private media service providers. Accordingly, the total foreign share capital of a media service provider cannot exceed 50 percent of registered capital. Besides, foreign persons are not allowed to be the direct shareholders of more than two media service providers, nor allowed to possess any privileged shares.

The Land Registry Law No. 2644 stipulates that foreigners can acquire real estate or limited property right in Türkiye subject to certain conditions. In particular, the total area of such real estates or property rights acquired cannot exceed 10 percent of the total surface area of the district subject to private ownership and 30 hectares per person across the country. Further requirements are also envisaged for purchasing real estate in military forbidden zones, military security zones or strategic zones. Specific notification procedures are set forth in the legislation requiring the Ministry of Trade to be informed of the relevant acquisition.

The Cabotage Law specifies geographical restrictions, under which deriving commercial benefits from seas and lakes is a right granted exclusively to Turkish citizens.

In addition to the above, the Mining Law, Environmental Law, and Tourism Incentive Law also set out specific regimes and require approval procedures in certain cases for FDI in Türkiye. Therefore, it is crucial for foreign investors to identify the sectors they are investing in, and comply with the specific requirements in the relevant legislation.

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; setting up a new company or branch; 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 legislation also includes provisions related to FDI, and this legislation may require further approvals from relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, the Energy Market Regulation Authority, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, and the 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 Turkish merger control rules, this transaction is subject to a mandatory filing with the Turkish Competition Authority as well.

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.

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 to 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, 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 Turkish Competition Authority 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 turnover generated during the financial year preceding the decision date.

"Looking ahead": Likely developments in the next year

There has not yet been a specific report published as yet providing insight into Türkiye's FDI strategy for the coming years. Having said that, in accordance with the medium-term program, there are likely to be specific amendments to the law and administrative regulation, as well as adoption of new legislation to ensure compliance with international standards and the digital transformation of the investment environment.

In addition, simplification of bureaucratic procedures, developments on the investment zone allocation and infrastructure support planning are also expected to be realized, along with heightened legal assurances and the establishment of a project-oriented incentive system.

Lastly, considering that the FDI Law was introduced in 2003, the ministry may 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.

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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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