After significant falls in 2010, EU27 FDI1 (foreign direct investment) flows more than doubled in 2011. The EU27 FDI flows to the rest of the world (outflows) reached 370 billion euro in 2011, after having decreased from 316 bn in 2009 to 146 billion in 2010. FDI into the EU27 from the rest of the world (inflows) were at 225 bn in 2011, after having declined from 234 bn in 2009 to 104 bn in 2010.
These figures2, published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, come from the first FDI results for 2011.
Half of investments from the rest of the world into the EU came from the USA in 2011
EU27 investments in all its major partners rose in 2011, except for Russia. In 2011, the main destinations of EU investments were the USA (111 bn), the Offshore financial centres3 (59 bn), Switzerland (32 bn), Brazil (28 bn), China (18 bn), Canada and India (both 12 bn). A disinvestment of 2 bn was recorded with Russia in 2011.
In 2011, the main investors into the EU27 were the USA (115 bn), Switzerland (34 bn), the Offshore financial centres3 (16 bn), Canada (7 bn), Hong Kong (6 bn), Japan and Brazil (both 5 bn).
Luxembourg and the United Kingdom largest investors in the rest of the world
Luxembourg, with investments of 110 bn euro, was the largest investor outside the EU27 in 2011, followed by the United Kingdom (89 bn), Germany (34 bn), France (21 bn), Spain (19 bn) and Belgium (16 bn). Luxembourg (86 bn) was also the main recipient of investments from outside the EU27, ahead of Sweden (16 bn), Spain
(15 bn), the United Kingdom (14 bn), France (12 bn) and Germany (11 bn). The role of Luxembourg in EU FDI is mainly explained by the importance of its financial intermediation activity4.
As in previous years, the EU27 was in 2011 a net investor in the rest of the world, with outflows higher than inflows by 145 bn euro. Among the EU Member States, the United Kingdom was the largest net investor outside the EU27 in 2011, with net investment of 75 bn, followed by Luxembourg (25 bn), Germany (23 bn) and France
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is the category of international investment that reflects the objective of obtaining a lasting interest by an investor in one economy in an enterprise resident in another economy. The lasting interest implies that a long-term relationship exists between the investor and the enterprise, and that the investor has a significant influence on the way the enterprise is managed. Such an interest is formally deemed to exist when a direct investor owns 10% or more of the voting power on the board of directors (for an incorporated enterprise) or the equivalent (for an unincorporated enterprise). FDI flows presented here include re-invested earnings. 2011 data are preliminary estimates. Updated detailed figures will be released by the end of 2012.
The figures presented for 2011 are estimates based on annualised quarterly Balance of Payments data from the Member States as of April 2012, while the data for 2008-2010 correspond to the latest annual FDI data transmission. Data for the EU aggregate take into account confidential data, estimates for Member States missing data and data for Special Purpose Entities (SPEs), that are additionally collected by Eurostat and the ECB from Member States not including SPEs’ FDI in national data. This ensures adherence to international standards, exhaustiveness of the EU aggregates and explains why the total of Member States’ flows differs from the EU aggregates. SPEs are mainly financial holding companies, foreign-owned, and principally engaged in cross-border financial transactions, with no or negligible local activity in the Member State of residence.
Offshore Financial Centres (OFC) is an aggregate used in Eurostat FDI data which includes 38 countries. As examples, the aggregate contains European financial centres, such as Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, the Faroe Islands, Andorra and Gibraltar; Central American OFC such as Panama and Caribbean islands like Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Virgin Islands; and Asian OFC such as Bahrain, Hong Kong, Singapore and Philippines.
Special Purpose Entities account for most of Luxembourg's FDI.