Steady flows of FDI into the CEEC in 2002

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV.COM Ltd.

The latest estimates indicate a growth in the numbers of FDI in the CEEC during 2002. The year 2003 might turn out to be less favourable.

In terms of value, the 10 main applicant countries attracted FDI of a little over 21 bn USD, a rise of almost 15% compared to 2001 (USD 18.7 bn). This performance is all the more significant since the OECD as a whole, to which Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary belong, experienced a decrease of more than 20% (USD 606 bn in 2002) from one year to the other. The picture is nevertheless differentiated according to the countries concerned and is characterised by some large operations.

Rising steeply are Slovenia (+430%), Slovakia (+150%) and the Czech Republic (+70%). Lithuania (+60%) and Latvia (+30%) can also be included in this group.

Falling sharply are Hungary (-70%), Estonia (-47%), Poland (-41%) and Bulgaria (-33%). In Romania, 1.1 USD bn were invested in 2002, i.e. 6.4% less than the previous year.

In terms of FDI/capita stock, the country hierarchy remains unchanged; nevertheless the disparities between them increased slightly.

Considering the number of investment projects announced during the year 2002, the applicant countries have also increased their market share compared to 2001. At paneuropean level (including Russia and Turkey), they jump from 15% (out of a total of 1974) to 18% out of 1895 released projects.

With approximately 5% of the total, Hungary and the Czech Republic rank 5th and 6th respectively in Europe as a whole, just behind Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. This year Bulgaria appears in 17th place with Romania (13th), following hot on the heels of Ireland and Poland (11th). The area of Bucharest entered the list of the 20 most attractive regions (18 investment projects), still far behind London and its suburbs (125), the Paris- Ile-de-France region (64) and Catalonia (61), which were already the top three in 2001. The Budapest region moves up 6 places (9th, 27 announcements) and the Northern area of the Czech Republic improves its rating by 22 places (10th, 26 projects).

In the industrial sector, 2/3 of the projects which involve more than 1000 jobs are destined for the CEEC, which are also attracting more and more investments in the manufacturing sector. On the other hand, 90% of the EU’s share is concentrated in R&D, whereas its share of all the sectors lumped together averages 70%.

In Europe, 10 of the 20 most active multinationals belong to the automotive sector (vehicle assembly and spare parts). This branch also seems to play a driving role in the CEEC. Thus, a major fact in the equipment suppliers sector, the Czech Republic became the top European destination for such investments: it is expected to accommodate 18% of the 153 planned projects (37% of the CEEC’s total), with a strong concentration in the North and in the West of the country. In electronics, Hungary and the Czech Republic maintain their position. However, Hungary has also recorded significant relocations: the removal of X-Box production (Flextronics) to China and the withdrawal of IBM, which was also one of the country’s major exporters. Finally, in the telecom sector, Budapest should receive 4 new projects, as many as Darmstadt (Germany), out of a total of 36 for the whole of Europe.

For more analyses, see the

enlargement website of DREE.  

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