FDI projects in western Europe were down 11% during the period January to August 2011 compared with the same period of 2010, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets.

Germany and France – the two largest economies in Europe – have both suffered from major declines in the number of FDI projects, with decreases of 36% and 26% respectively.

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FDI numbers are on the rise, however, in some western European countries with Ireland bucking the trend with a 32% rise in projects. Greece, rocked by a financial crisis, had two-thirds more FDI projects recorded during the 2011 period. Investments into Greece have included the US-based adult stem cell therapy provider RegenoCell Therapeutics opening a facility in Athens to treat patients with congestive heart failure and peripheral artery disease, and circuit-breaker OEZ, which is a subsidiary of Germany-based Siemens, has announced plans to shift production to Greece from the Czech Republic.

The UK, although suffering a small decline of 3%, looks set to remain as the top destination for FDI projects in 2011.

The top investors in the western Europe region during 2011 include Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz, United Arab Emirates-based Dubai Holding, the French retail groups Carrefour and Auchan Group, and US-based General Electric.