Survey: Western Europe still most attractive region for foreign investment

Western Europe remains the favorite destination for foreign investments but central and eastern Europe, the US and China are increasing their attractiveness, according to a new Ernst & Young survey.

Some of the results of the survey stand in stark contrast to the regular gloom and doom stories heard in EU circles, although there are also indications in the survey that there is cause for concern about the future attractiveness of Europe in view of rising competition from the US, China and India.

Main findings of the survey:

  • 63% of the interviewed executives find Western Europe the most attractive economic area (55% say Central and Eastern Europe, 52% China, 45% US and Canada);
  • China is the most attractive individual country (52%) before the US, India, Poland and Germany;
  • 17% of the executives see the situation in Europe as having deteriorated, 43% see no change and 37% think Europe’s situation has improved;
  • 31% of international investments are in Central and Eastern Europe, more than France, Germany, Spain and Belgium combined;
  • Poland and Hungary are challenging the traditional supremacy of Germany, the UK and France, due to their competitiveness in terms of labour costs. 

The new Ernst & Young 2005 European Attractiveness Survey was presented at the World Investment Conference at La Baule, France on 29 June 2005. The results of the survey are based on telephone interviews carried out by Ernst & Young between March and April 2005 with 650 international executives.

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