Direct investment

21. September


Inward foreign direct investment

At year-end 2019, inward foreign direct investment (FDI) position totaled to 1,014.9 Inward FDI flows were negative in the amount of 31 during the year.

Equity assets accounted for 54.6% of direct investment position at the end of 2019.

The largest FDI countries at year-end 2019 were Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland

Inward FDI is largely concentrated in manufacture of aluminum, pharmaceuticals and holding companies. Just under half of FDI position are in holding companies. A large share of these holdings are connected to the aforementioned sectors.

Outward foreign direct investment

At year-end 2019, outward FDI position totaled to 666.2, and outward FDI flows amounted to 64.3 during the year.

Some 77.9% of total outward FDI was in the form of equity, while the remainder was in the form of debt financing between FDI-related parties.

Just over half of FDI was registered in the Netherlands, the bulk of it in holding companies.
The largest outward direct investors are companies connected to the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and equipment and machinery, as well as the fishing industry. Some 42.6% of outward FDI is in holding companies, most of it connected to the aforementioned sectors.


The figures in the statistical tables represent totals from summarised sectoral classifications, as well as the classification of Iceland’s largest FDI partner countries, excluding special-purpose entities.

Quarterly FDI aggregates according to the directional presentation by type of investment is available for the years 2013 – 2020.

Resident special-purpose entities amounted to 46 in both inward and outward FDI position at the end of 2019.

A further breakdown, including and excluding special-purpose entities, can be found on the OECD website. A link to that website can be found under “Useful links” here on this page.

Supervisor: IT and Statistics |