India climbed four notches to be ranked the ninth most attractive investment destination in 2009 with a total foreign direct investment inflow of $34.61 billion, a UN report revealed on Thursday.
India attracted sizeable overseas investment despite the overall drop in such inflows due to the global financial crisis, said the World Investment Report-2010, prepared by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad).
"If the situation continues to improve, India is likely to be among the most promising investor home countries in 2010-2012, as well as the third highest economy for foreign direct investment in 2010-2012," said the report.
"In 2008, though India attracted higher foreign direct investment worth 40.42 billion, its ranking was lower at 13th. China nudged further up to second at $95 billion from a third place last year," said Rashmi Banga, senior economist with Unctad.
The US remained the top investment destination with inflows of $130 billion in 2009, followed by China, France, Hong Kong, Britain, Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India and Belgium. Total inflows amounted to $1.11 trillion, against 1.77 trillion in 2008.
In 2009, Indian firms and funds also invested a lower amount of $14.89 billion overseas, compared to a $18.4 billion in 2008.
"But such outflows are expected to rebound in 2010 sustained by merger and acquisition opportunities associated with Indian and Chinese firms' persistent pursuit of natural resources and markets," the report said.
The report also said that five Indian companies figured in the list of top 100 non-financial trans-national corporations, ranked by their foreign assets overseas.
Among them Tata Steel was ranked 15th, the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp in the 20th position, Hindalco in 29th rank, Tata Motors in 40th position and Suzlon in 54th.