In 2016, a record number of foreign direct investments (FDI) has been achieved in Europe, according to a recent report by the EY (formerly Ernst & Young) consulting company.

Warsaw, Poland

Great place to invest

For the first time since 2008 Poland is among the top five most popular European destinations for foreign investors.

In the past year, 5845 new projects have been registered on the Old Continent, an increase by 15% yoy. These investments amount to at least 259.5 thousand jobs – that’s an increase of 19%.

Three of the most popular investment destinations were: Great Britain, Germany and France, where more than half (51%) of new projects were located.

Growth leaders in terms of FDI numbers are Sweden, Italy and the Czech Republic. In these countries, there were respectively 76%, 62% and 57% more new projects. In turn, only three of the European Top 20 countries – Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland – had less foreign investment than a year earlier.

New workplaces

Europe, and especially Central and Eastern Europe, has seen a strong increase in the number of new jobs created in connection with the announced FDI. That part of the continent is responsible for more than half (52%) of all new jobs related to investment projects in 2016.

The record holders are Ukraine (435%) and Moldova (220% increase). However, when it comes to absolute numbers, the United Kingdom is the leader. In spite of the imminent vision of the Brexit, in the UK, 43,000 new workplaces are expected. However, it is worth noting that this result is only 2 percent better than in 2015. This is by far the slowest growth rate among the countries of the first ten.

The second place across Europe belongs to Poland, where the new FDI will create 22 thousand workplaces (up 12% yoy). There were also Germany, Romania, France, Serbia and Russia among the countries in which more than 15,000 jobs would be created.

Every fifth new project in Europe was generated in 2016 by investors from the United States or Canada. It was the North American companies that turned out to be the biggest foreign investors (outside Europe) on our continent, involved in 1310 projects (22% of the total) in the previous year.

However, the title of the biggest investor belongs to European companies. As many as 3272 new projects (56% of the total) recorded in 2016 were related to intra-community direct investment, with more than 138 thousand of new jobs.

By analysing individual countries, Germany (651 projects), France (346), Great Britain (335), Switzerland (289) and Italy (187) invested the most outside their own countries.

The third foreign investor in Europe last year turned out to be China, which increased its business involvement by a quarter. Chinese companies announced 297 projects on our continent with 7919 jobs. It is worth noting that two thirds of the Chinese companies’ projects involved investing in sales and marketing.

Poland’s investment attractiveness

The EY report confirms Poland’s strong position on the investment map of Europe, not just the region. In 2016, 256 new FDI projects were announced in the country. That’s an increase of 21%, from 211 projects a year earlier. At least 22,000 new workplaces will be acreated thanks to these investments (an increase of 12% from 19 651 in 2015). In both categories Poland has proven to be the undisputed leader of Central and Eastern Europe.


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