Foreign investors are treated on an equal footing with Danish investors; investment capital and profits may be freely repatriated. Since the late 1950s, Denmark has attracted a moderate amount of foreign investment. In 1998, however, annual FDI inflows jumped from $2.8 billion to $7.7 billion then soared to $32.3 billion in 2000. In terms of success in attracting FDI, Denmark went from the 62nd ranked country (out of 140 countries studied) on UNCTAD's Inward FDI Performance Index for the period 1988 to 1990 to the 12th ranked country for the period 1998–2000. Denmark's ranking in terms of potential for inward FDI increased from 10th place in the world to 8th place. In the economic slowdown of 2001 and in decline in FDI flows that followed the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, annual FDI flow fell to about $14 billion in 2001 and to an estimated $7.7 billion in 2002. Inward FDI stock at the end of 2001 was an estimated $85 billion; outward FDI was an estimated $92 billion.
The main sources of inward FDI in Denmark in 2001 were the United States (30%), Sweden (14%), and Belgium-Luxembourg (13%). The main destinations of Danish outward FDI in 2001 were Belgium-Luxembourg (19%), the United States (17%), and Switzerland (7%).