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Paris Region has ranked first in the fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 regional ranking, clinching the top spot from previous winner North Rhine-Westphalia, which now finds itself in third place. Cathy Mullan reports. 

Home to eight départments including the country's capital, Paris Region is the jewel in the crown of France’s FDI achievements. The region attracted more than 1000 investments between October 2012 and September 2017, greater any other region in the study, and this is why it is our regional winner in the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 ranking.

More than one-quarter of the region’s investments came from companies headquartered in the US, including a €200m investment from shipping services provider FedEx Express and a new logistics centre set up in Moissy-Cramayel by Coca-Cola, which created 1000 jobs. Job creation from foreign investments in the region peaked in 2016, at almost 11,000, increasing just over 78% from the level in 2012. 

In part owing to its FDI performance, the region has also ranked first of all large European regions for Economic Potential. Paris Region also boasts the highest GDP of all regions studied (more than $800bn at purchase power parity) and has the highest level of outward FDI of all regions (more than 2600 projects between October 2012 and September 2017).

The region is well connected as investors can reach 269 international destinations from its two international airports, Orly Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle. France also performs well on the Logistics Performance Index and the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, which, along with a high quality of overall infrastructure including rail and roads, helped the region to rank third of all large European regions in the Connectivity category.

Dublin to second

Rising from fifth place in 2016/17’s ranking, the Irish region of Dublin has placed second and has also been named fDi’s Northern European Region of the Future, top small European region overall, as well as top small region for Economic Potential and Business Friendliness. Nearly 9% of all companies in the Dublin region are in the knowledge-based sector, testament to the area’s reputation as a location for high-quality investments.

South Africa-based Synexa Life Sciences established its international headquarters in Dublin in mid-2017, noting the city’s ecosystem of hi-tech companies, innovative research institutions and the skilled workforce as reasons for investment. The company’s chief executive also acknowledged Ireland’s reputation as a business-friendly location, where companies can be started in just five days. Ireland has a corporate tax rate of just 12.5% and a high ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.

Engine of Germany

Germany’s largest state with nearly 18 million citizens, North Rhine-Westphalia has ranked third among all European regions. The region incorporates some important German cities, including Cologne, Düsseldorf and Dortmund. Almost half of investments into the region were into three cities – Düsseldorf (36.1%), Cologne (10.1%) and Duisburg (3.1%).

Sales, marketing and support operations were the primary business functions in the region, accounting for over 50% of total investments. North Rhine-Westphalia is an established centre of Germany’s automotive sector, attracting almost one-quarter of all Germany’s automotive investment, more than any other state in the country.

Car manufacturer Adam Opel, a subsidiary of US-based General Motors, invested more than $70m in a spare parts facility in Bochum in August 2017, creating 700 jobs; and brake manufacturer TMD Friction, a subsidiary of Japan-based Nisshinbo Group, expanded its production in the state, investing nearly $60m to increase the production of brake pads from 18 million to 60 million per year.

North Rhine-Westphalia had the third highest number of patents registered with the US Trade and Patent Office of all regions studied, with nearly 15,500 registrations between 2007 and 2016. 

Click on the link below for a PDF version of the complete results: 

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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