Direct investment

21. March

2021 update

Inward foreign direct investment

At year-end 2021, inward foreign direct investment (FDI) position totaled to 1,057 Inward FDI flows amounted to 19 during the year.

Equity assets accounted for 63% of direct investment position at the end of 2021.

The largest FDI countries at year-end 2020 were Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland

Inward FDI is largely concentrated in manufacture of aluminum, pharmaceuticals and holding companies. 43% 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 2021, outward FDI position totaled to 661 Outward FDI flows amounted to -4 during the year.

83% of total outward FDI was in the form of equity, while the remainder was in the form of debt financing between FDI-related parties.

58% of total FDI position 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 46% of outward FDI is in holding companies, most of it connected to the aforementioned sectors.


The figures in the statistical tables represent totals from summarized 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 – 2022.

Resident special-purpose entities amounted to 34 in inward and 43 in outward FDI positions at the end of 2021.

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. The OECD FDI database is updated in December.

Supervisor: IT and Statistics |