A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. If we look at the articles about the history of FDI or Foreign investments over the web, we find that authors are only covering the part of the history of FDI from the last two decades. For e.g. in this PDF " Concept and Historical Background of Foreign Direct Investment" the first phase starts from 1870-1914.

Now we know the empires like the Roman empire did build roads or religious structures in regions they conquered, this could be an example of Foreign investment. But that was in the plan of their territorial expansion and keep those regions under their rule and was not part of Mutual Collaboration.

Also I am not asking about FDI or Foreign investments made during the Colonial period by British, Spanish, Portuguese multinational enterprises etc. Like The East India Company and such. But records of earlier forms of FDI mostly from the medieval period or earlier.

Do we have any records of any individual kings, nations, guilds making an FDI / Mutual collaborative projects in another region or country, not as a conqueror but for mutual business benefits? like improving the roads, construction works, shipbuilding, construction of ports etc. in treaties from the pre-medieval or medieval era. ?

  • 3
    "in a business" - the notion of FDI relies on the existence of a business as a legally recognized entity in the target country. I don't think such entities exist in the medieval period. Investment in roads is investment in infrastructure, not FDI - I am not sure that we're using FDI to refer to the same concept; could we document the terms a bit better?
    – MCW
    Oct 17 '19 at 11:57
  • 1
    Could you edit your question to clarify what you've looked into already, complete with links and references, and context if applicable? In particular, please let us know what you find missing or unclear about the Wikipedia entry on the topic, if one exists. This allows those who might want to answer to do so without needing to redo the work you've already done. You might find it helpful to review the site tour and Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask.
    – MCW
    Oct 17 '19 at 11:58
  • 2
    You might find some early examples of investments made by Venice in the aftermath of its rise during the crusades. Though even those could be construed as keeping important trade ports under Venetian influence -- and best I'm aware they weren't funded by the city proper. Also, a problem with your question is that in those days there wasn't much of a State in the modern sense to speak of. Oct 17 '19 at 12:17
  • 1
    Please edit the information from the comments into the question - the question should contain all the information.
    – MCW
    Oct 17 '19 at 12:52
  • 2
    Would the Fugger's businesses count? They were German but had invested and controlled mines all over Europe, such as Norway, Sweden, Hungary, and even the New World.
    – ed.hank
    Oct 17 '19 at 13:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.