FDI into Europe has experienced the worst first quarter since 2003, according to fDi Markets. In the opening quarter of 2013, Europe was the recipient of 740 projects, a far cry from the 1472 projects it received in the first quarter in the pre-recession days of 2007.

The figures are hardly surprising given the economic instability that currently exists in Europe, with Cyprus becoming the latest country to require an EU bailout, joining Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland.

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Investors are increasingly looking to markets that offer more security and stability than Europe, and the dwindling FDI figures for this first quarter reflect the existing negative perception of the region.

These results are a continuation of a fairly stagnant 2012, a year in which fDi Markets recorded a total of 4040 projects into Europe. That figure was the lowest number of recorded projects into the region since 2004 and, so far, the first quarter of 2013 is pointing to another bleak year for European FDI.