Russia remains the leading European destination for manufacturing, according to data from fDiMarkets. In the first six months of 2011, it recorded 74 projects, four more than the same period in 2010.

Germany and the UK have significantly more projects in 2011 compared with 2010 at 45 and 53 projects, respectively, up from 34 and 32.

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There have been other interesting results. Spain has managed to double its manufacturing FDI, despite the country’s economic crisis; Italy has dropped out of the top 12 European countries for FDI, replaced by Slovakia; while Poland jumped from fourth place to second, despite having a similar number of investments in both time periods.

For those ranked in the top 12, there was not much difference in project numbers, with the exception of Russia. Figures for 2010, however, are widely distributed, dropping steadily from 53 to 11. The fact that the 2011 figures are much closer (39 to 18) shows that the top countries are becoming more equally competitive and attractive to investors.

Major manufacturing investments into Russia for the first half of 2011 include a new manufacturing plant in Kolomna, Russia, for Switzerland-based Holcim, a provider of building materials. The company invested €500m in the site, which will have a capacity to produce 2.1 million tonnes of cement per year. It will primarily serve customers in the Moscow region and is the company's second factory in the country.

Germany's Evonik, a manufacturer serving the automotive, plastics and pharmaceutical industries, plans to invest $212m to build a plant in the Rostov region of Russia. It will perform deep processing of grains using biotechnological methods, reaching an annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes. It will produce lysine amino acid and operations will begin in 2014.