Top 5 European countries with the highest investment attractiveness
1. 1. Germany
Germany, the top-ranked European country in the 2016 FDI Confidence Index, moves up one spot to fourth place, its highest position in 14 years. Despite the Volkswagen emissions scandal and weak global export demand, investors interest in Germany continues to be broad-based, with the country ranking in the top five markets for FDI in all three sectors — industry, services, and IT — with a particularly strong position in the IT sector.
2. United Kingdom
Britain’s European neighbors have been a major source of FDI, accounting for 48 percent of the FDI stock as of 2014. Also noteworthy is that in the country are situated more than half of all European headquarters of non-EU companies—more than Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands combined. Given these business relationships, many investors are concerned about the disruption that a decision to leave the EU could cause, and a Brexit could damage the country’s attractiveness as an FDI destination in the future.
To promote France as an attractive investment location and diversify both the sources and sector composition of its FDI inflows, the government launched a new agency called Business France—a merger of French trade commission Ubifrance and the Invest in France Agency—in January 2015. Early this year, Business France launched its international campaign “Creative France” to promote the country’s competitive and innovative environment. It is targeting investors from 10 key countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Switzerland rises three spots to 11th place in the Index this year. This improvement comes in spite of the dramatic appreciation of the Swiss franc after the Swiss National Bank dropped its exchange rate ceiling against the euro in January 2015. Sustained investor interest in the country is likely a result of continued moderate economic growth rates, high consumer spending, and a highly competitive business environment.
Economic recovery has been slow in coming, Spain’s falling unit labor costs and fairly open foreign investment policies have made the country an increasingly attractive FDI destination, especially for firms headquartered in other European countries. The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and France have been Spain’s leading FDI source countries in recent years.
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