Aim of this survey

The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Survey collects financial information relating to direct investment in the UK by enterprises located abroad (inward FDI) and to direct investment abroad by enterprises located in the UK (outward FDI). In either scenario the foreign investment must be at least 10% of the ordinary shares or voting power. Data on investments less than 10% which are classed as portfolio investments are collected elsewhere within Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The information is primarily required for measuring the direct investment flows and earnings for the UK balance of payments, which is in turn used as a factor in measuring gross domestic product. It is also used to measure the international investment patterns between the UK and the rest of the world, either by country or groups of countries.

Inward FDI data indicate which sectors of the economy are of interest to foreign competitors and where long-term growth is expected to be. Outward FDI indicates which countries of the world are expected to be growth areas and where a company might wish to invest.

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • figures relating to profit and loss, equity ownership, retained earnings and capital transactions between the UK and its foreign parent companies

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

  • selection criteria: the population samples are selected by stratified random sampling using previously returned international investment positions values (net book values)
  • population: approximately 31,400
  • sample: approximately 1,500
  • frequency: quarterly

Dispatch dates

  • Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar): 31 March
  • Quarter 2 (Apr to June): 23 June
  • Quarter 3 (July to Sept): 21 September
  • Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec): 18 December

Return-by dates

  • Quarter 1: 20 April
  • Quarter 2: 13 July
  • Quarter 3: 10 October
  • Quarter 4: 9 January

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change because of national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your company is required to supply information to us as we believe it meets the selection criteria of the survey. That is, it is a UK company or group of companies, which has a foreign investor and/or foreign parent company.

New companies can be added to this survey as a direct result of international transactions which make them eligible for selection.

How to complete this survey

This survey is conducted via a Secure Electronic File Transfer (SEFT) spreadsheet. An example template is available in the “Related download” section on this page. There are guidelines explaining how to complete your return.

If you return the data in a different format, it will be returned to you to amend and re-submit.

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

If you need help

If your question is not answered above, you may be able to find the answer in the About ONS business surveys section.

You can call us on 0300 1234 931. Please enter the three-digit survey ID 064.

From outside the UK: +44 1633 816338.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (to speak to someone in Welsh): 0300 1234 921.

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