Understanding the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) is of utmost importance in a world economy of increasingly interdependent economies. However, the lack of an unified data source of FDI covering a long time frame has posed serious challenges to its analysis. In this article we apply methods of network analysis to build a representation of the global FDI relationships. We show how the network representation of the global FDI can be used to identify patterns, identify preferential paths for investment, establish trends and describe the relations between countries over time. We present the results by using specific visualisation tools that graphically illustrate the interlinkages between the economies, and that can be a valuable instrument for the design and deployment of regulating instruments.