For the second consecutive year, US-based logistics and online retail company Amazon has been named as the top investor globally, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets from between September 2016 and August 2017.

Investors of year 2017 chart

Amazon invested in 87 projects in the 12-month period, nearly 48% of which were logistics, distribution and transportation projects and more than 20% of which were in in sales, marketing and support activities. Nearly one-third of investments were made in Spain and France combined, including a new logistics centre in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, in July 2017, which created 1100 jobs.


The company also announced plans to open a new distribution centre in Boves, France, which will create 500 new jobs by the end of 2019 and be the company’s largest distribution facility in the country. Amazon was also named top investor for the western Europe and Middle East regions.

Regus ranks highly

Luxembourg-based Regus has ranked in second place, investing in 74 projects during the same time period. Western Europe was the main destination market for the company, where it made 41 investments, followed by the North America and Asia-Pacific regions, with 14 and 10 projects, respectively. In August 2017, Regus announced the opening of three new business centres in the UK – in Aylesbury, Brighton and Leeds – offering flexible working options such as co-working space, offices of varying sizes, virtual office services and meeting room facilities.

Investments in business services operations accounted for the entire FDI activity of Regus between September 2016 and August 2017. The company was also named North America’s top investor for 2017.

Germany-based Deutsche Post has ranked third, investing in 65 projects in the same time period. Nearly 14% were created in France, including an investment from the company’s subsidiary, DHL Express, in a new sorting line that can handle 7300 packages a day in Vitry-sur-Seine, Ile-de-France, in February 2017. Nearly 90% of the company’s investments were in the logistics, distribution and transportation sector, with additional activity in sales, marketing and support, and R&D. The company was also named Asia-Pacific’s top investor for 2017.

Latin America’s top investor was Italy-based multinational Enel, a generator and distributor of electricity and gas. In November 2016, Enel announced plans to expand distribution grids and generation capacity in Brazil between 2017 and 2019 as part of a $3bn investment project. The construction of a 200-megawatt wind farm has also started in Coahuila, Mexico. Once complete, the $300m wind farm will produce up to 750 gigawatt hours of electricity a year, enough to supply about 450,000 Mexican homes.

Looking east

Sweden-based Skanska has been named as emerging Europe’s Investor of the Year for 2017. The construction and project development company invested in 10 projects in the time period. The company is set to open a €46m office complex in Wrocław, Poland, by mid-2019. Its sixth office to open in the city, it will cover 22,000 square metres. Office buildings were also announced in the Czech capital Prague, and Bucharest, Romania.

Africa has been a focus for US multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE), which has been named the region’s top investor for 2017, investing in 10 projects in the 12-month period. The company’s subsidiary, GE Oil & Gas, has opened a new service facility in Ghana that created more than 30 jobs and will serve as the firm’s primary service centre for deep-water offshore projects in the country. It will also form partnerships with educational institutions and deliver more than 45,000 training hours for Ghanaian personnel by 2022. 

GE also invested in a $4m training centre in Algeria, which will help develop the skills of local employees and partners in the energy and health sectors.