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 the Office for National Statistics.

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 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 affiliate companies

  • information about the business' foreign affiliate companies

  • figures relating to the economic activity of each legal entity

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 14,400

  • sample: approximately 2,300

  • frequency: annual

Dispatch Date

  • 19 April

Return-by date

  • 28 May

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to 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 that hold subsidiaries abroad where the UK company is the 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 of template is available in the "Related download" section on the right-hand side of 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.

Complete this survey online

How to find out more information

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 063.

From outside the UK: +44(0)1633 816338.

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