Germany beats FDI expectations in 2020

BERLIN – Germany Trade & Invest’s annual FDI report shows the country attracting more foreign business investments in 2020 than experts had predicted. GTAI has documented 1648 international companies who set up shop with greenfield investments, expansions and relocations last year. There were also 372 M&A transactions.

The 2020 figures were down nine percent compared to 2019.

“The decline is anything but surprising considering the global coronavirus crisis,” says GTAI CEO Robert Hermann. “But the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicted that foreign business investments would decline by fifteen percent, so nine percent is ultimately positive news.”

American businesses led the way with 254 projects in Germany, followed by Switzerland (219) and China (170).

“The numbers show that last year, even during the pandemic, Germany remained attractive to foreign companies,” Hermann says. “The trend toward large-scale projects also continued.”

Germany is becoming more and more attractive as a business location for e-mobility companies, with major expansions by US carmaker Tesla and Chinese battery producer SVOLT. Other popular sectors for projects were ICT and software (19 percent), business and financial services (17 percent), consumer goods (ten percent) and machinery manufacturing (nine percent).