direct foreign investment (DFI)

(economics) Investment that is made to acquire a lasting interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.
(U.S.) In the United States, direct investment is defined for statistical purposes as the ownership or control, directly or indirectly, by one person of 10 percent of more of the voting securities of an incorporated business enterprise, or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated business enterprise. Direct investment transactions are not limited to transactions in voting securities. The percentage ownership of voting securities is used to determine if direct investment exists, but once it is determined that it does, all parent-affiliate transactions, including those not involving voting securities, are recorded under direct investment. See affiliate; affiliated foreign group; foreign direct investment in the United States.

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