According to the latest figures released by greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets, Europe has maintained its position as the top destination region for FDI, attracting a 34% share of global FDI. However, Europe has not emerged unscathed from the recession. FDI into Europe fell 27% in 2009 and 15% in 2010, the sharpest decline of any world region. In order to analyse the full effect of the global recession on FDI into Europe, fDi Intelligence has created a ranking comparing the performance of European locations in the two-year period before October 2008 with the two-year period since.

Between October 2006 and September 2008, fDi Markets recorded 10,601 FDI projects locating in Europe. These projects consisted of $640bn capital investment and the creation of approximately 1.17 million jobs. FDI records from October 2008 to September 2010 indicate that the recession hit all aspects of FDI into Europe. FDI project numbers were down 17%, capital investments figures fell 30.8% and job creation figures fell 40.2%.

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UK still top and improving

Prior to the onset of the recession, the UK was the top destination country in Europe for FDI. In the two-year period since October 2008, the UK has not only maintained this position but has ranked as the most improved European country. The UK attracted a total of 1617 projects since October 2008, which represents an increase of 387 projects, the biggest nominal increase of any European country in this time frame.

Germany ranked second behind the UK, attracting 58 more projects in the two years after October 2008, while Ireland came in third, with 37 more projects. Only a quarter of all European countries experienced an increase in FDI projects since the onset of the recession.

The European countries hit hardest by the recession include Romania, France and Spain. Romania attracted 354 fewer projects which represented a decline of 55%, France attracted 341 fewer projects (-32%), Poland’s inward FDI project numbers fell by 254 (-38%) and 253 fewer FDI projects located in Spain (-33%).

Scotland tops the regional rankings

Scotland ranked as fDi Intelligence’s most improved region in Europe since the recession. Since October 2008, Scotland attracted 195 FDI projects, an increase of 100 projects on the two-year period before October 2008, the largest nominal increase of any European region. UK regions preformed well with six of the top 10 most improved regions based in the country.

Germany's Nordrhein-Westfalen was the second most-improved, attracting 75 more projects since October 2008, making it the fourth most popular region within Europe for FDI.  

The Romanian region of Bucharest suffered in terms of FDI. In the two years before October 2008, Bucharest had attracted 198 projects. This figure fell to only 61 FDI projects in the two-year period since October 2008, representing a decline of 69%. The French region of Ile-de-France also witnessed a significant decline as 104 fewer FDI projects located in the region since October 2008.

Dublin's draw

In the period since October 2008, Dublin experienced the largest nominal increase of inward FDI projects of any European city. The number of FDI projects into Dublin increased from 98 to 129 in the two years since October 2008. This increase saw Dublin rise from 11th place to the fourth most popular European city for FDI, surpassed only by London, Paris and Moscow. German and UK cities dominated the remaining top 10 ranking with Düsseldorf, Aberdeen and Edinburgh ranking from second to fourth, respectively.

Bucharest, Madrid and Paris experienced the most significant drops in projects numbers since October 2008 with the number of inward FDI projects down 133, 84 and 77, respectively.

For a pdf of the complete results click on the link below.