One of the key arguments of charter change proponents is that liberalizing the economy to FDI will create more jobs. But job creation has actually weakened even as foreign direct investment inflows increased.
In the past two decades, annual FDI inflows increased almost fivefold from US$2.2 billion in 2000 to US$10.5 billion in 2021. Yet, before the pandemic decline and rebound, net employment creation in the decade 2010-2019 was lower than in the previous decade 2001-2009.
The US$10.3 billion inflow in 2017 was also the highest on record until that time – but the 664,000 jobs lost in that year as the biggest employment decline since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.