Discover the "EU and France Attractiveness Survey 2016"
Europe in 2015 remained under tension and mired in several crises: tense geopolitics with Russia and several foreign fronts, historically low confidence in EU institutions, terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, uncontrolled migration everywhere. Moreover, several economies remained in a dramatic state and on a very difficult recovery path.
"Destination Europe" nevertheless experienced a record year in terms of foreign direct investment. With 14% more projects, it hosted 5,083 international locations, creating 217,666 new jobs according to the 2016 European Attractiveness survey. And the European FDI story is also reinforced by the dynamics of mergers and acquisitions, up 68% from 2014.
Improved macroeconomic and financial conditions despite a – timid but solid - growth of 1.5% in the Eurozone, better consumption patterns, low interest rates, falling oil prices and fiscal demand-side policies did what they could to maintain the confidence of multinationals, mid-size businesses and entrepreneurs from Europe, Asia and the US. Investors turned, for a moment, their attention away from China, Brazil or Africa, all providing disappointing growth and more difficulties. Despite an uncertain business environment and geo-political risks, investors continue to see Europe as a relatively safe haven, with 82% expecting investment prospects to improve or remain the same over the next three years. Europe's strengths are its digital and logistical infrastructure, skilled labor force and stable political, legal and regulatory environments. However, inflexible labor markets, high labor costs and complex corporate taxation regimes are relative investment turn-offs.