European attractiveness survey 2014
2013: a record year for investment decisions in Europe
The 3,955 investment decisions in 2013 represent an all-time high, showing investors’ confidence in a resilient and adaptable Europe. In 2013, 166,343 jobs were created through FDI in 42 European countries, down 2% from 2012 but still 15% below precrisis levels.
Europe is the second-biggest recipient of FDI
Europe (excluding Russia) ranked second globally for total FDI inflows in 2013. Inflows into the continent rose by more than 25% — the fastest growth in any region. The increase was even higher in the EU (38%). Globally, 45% of executives saw Western Europe as the most attractive destination for FDI, just ahead of China (44%).
BRIC investors increase their footprint in Europe
Intra-European investment remained the largest source of FDI projects in the continent. While the US continued to be the leading single investor (1,027 projects creating 38,718 jobs), the real headline in 2013 came from the BRICs. These countries announced 313 investment projects and 16,900 new hires — both all-time highs.
Countries race for FDI at multiple speeds
More than half of FDI projects in 2013 were announced in three countries: the UK, Germany and France. Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Finland experienced a stable year, securing, between them, 18% of FDI projects and 17% of jobs. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) drew 5% fewer investment projects than in 2012, as the crisis reduced the number of projects from Western European automotive companies and shared services outsourcers.
Less manufacturing, more services
Ten years ago, manufacturing accounted for almost half of FDI projects in Europe. Services operations now attract more than two-thirds of FDI projects to Europe.
Innovation-intensive activities boost Europe’s attractiveness
In 2013, foreign investment from software, pharmaceutical and scientific research companies rose significantly. Also, R&D operations were among the hottest areas in 2013, with the number of projects increasing 23% on the year.
Europe’s future at the top of the global value chain
R&D will drive Europe’s FDI in the future, according to 45% of our respondents. Sector-wise, digital and life sciences are seen as the key drivers of Europe’s future attractiveness, but green growth is still a distant reality.
Investors are confident … and more demanding
According to 54% of respondents, Europe’s attractiveness as an investment destination will improve in the next three years. But modernization of the labor markets, further economic integration and cuts in regulation remain the top priorities for investors.