Outward foreign affiliates statistics


Data extracted in May-June 2017

Planned article update: September 2019

Highlights

In 2014, the sales made by EU affiliates located outside the EU were greater than those made by EU affiliates located in other EU Member States.

Almost three out of every five persons employed by an EU affiliate in 2014 were working outside the EU.

In 2014, manufacturing activities accounted for almost 40 % of the extra-EU turnover generated by EU affiliates.

Share of turnover and persons employed in foreign affiliates abroad, business economy, EU-28, 2014
(% of extra-EU total)
Source: Eurostat (fats_out2_r2)

Globalisation patterns in EU trade and investment is an online Eurostat publication presenting a summary of recent European Union (EU) statistics on economic aspects of globalisation, focusing on patterns of EU trade and investment.

The second half of this chapter (Globalisation patterns in EU trade and investment - Foreign affiliates) is based on outward foreign affiliate statistics. They allow an analysis of the economic impact of investments in EU affiliates abroad: for example, how many persons were employed by German affiliates in China, or what was the value of sales made by French affiliates in the United States. Note that the information presented in this article covers the business economy defined as NACE Sections B-N and P-S.

Full article

Sales made by EU affiliates abroad

In 2014, the sales made by EU affiliates located outside the EU were greater than those made by EU affiliates located in other EU Member States

In 2014, a majority (56.0 %) of the sales made by EU affiliates abroad were generated outside the EU (in non-member countries), the remaining 44.0 % reflected sales made by EU affiliates in other EU Member States; note these figures are based on an aggregate for 25 Member States (excluding Bulgaria, Estonia and the Netherlands) across the business economy (as defined by NACE Sections B-N and P-S).

British (75.8 %), Spanish (65.7 %) and Maltese (61.5 %) affiliates recorded the highest shares of their total turnover generated outside the EU. By contrast, more than four fifths of the turnover that was generated by Hungarian, Polish, Czech and Slovakian affiliates was realised in other EU Member States (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Share of turnover from foreign affiliates abroad, business economy, 2014
(%)
Source: Eurostat (fats_out2_r2)

Almost three out of every five persons employed by an EU affiliate in 2014 were working outside the EU

A similar analysis is presented in Figure 2 with a focus on those people who were working for EU affiliates. In 2014, almost three fifths (59.8 %) of the total number of persons employed by EU affiliates were working outside the EU; once again these figures are based on information available for 25 Member States (excluding Bulgaria, Estonia and the Netherlands) across the business economy. In 14 of these 25, a majority of the foreign affiliate workforce was found to be working outside the EU, with the highest proportions recorded among Spanish (68.2 %), Cypriot (69.7 %) and British (73.4 %) affiliates. In each of the remaining Member States, more than a quarter of their foreign affiliate workforce was employed in non-member countries (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Share of persons employed in foreign affiliates abroad, business economy, 2014
(%)
Source: Eurostat (fats_out2_r2)

In 2014, the United States accounted for more than one third of the total sales of EU affiliates in non-member countries

In 2014, the United States accounted for just over one third (34.2 %) of the total turnover that was generated by EU affiliates in non-member countries; the next highest share was for Switzerland (8.4 %), followed by China (7.2 %), Brazil (5.9 %) and Singapore (4.8 %).

The picture was quite different when looking at the foreign workforce employed by EU affiliates: the United States accounted for more than one fifth (22.4 %) of the total number of persons employed in non-member countries (which was 11.8 percentage points less than its share of turnover), while the emerging, lower labour cost economies of China (11.1 %), Brazil (8.9 %), India (6.9 %) and Mexico (3.9 %) accounted for relatively high shares of the workforce employed by EU foreign affiliates (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Share of turnover and persons employed in foreign affiliates abroad, business economy, EU-28, 2014
(% of extra-EU total)
Source: Eurostat (fats_out2_r2)

Turnover generated by EU affiliates

In 2014, manufacturing activities accounted for almost 40 % of the extra-EU turnover generated by EU affiliates

Figure 4 shows that in 2014, extra-EU turnover generated by EU affiliates was relatively evenly split between industrial and service activities; note that the Figure does not specifically show either of these aggregates — the former is here composed of mining and quarrying; manufacturing; electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning; water supply, sewerage, waste management; and construction; while the latter is composed of distributive trades; transportation and storage; accommodation and food service activities; information and communication; financial and insurance activities; real estate activities; professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support service activities; education; health and social work activities; arts, entertainment and recreation; other service activities.

Looking in more detail, manufacturing accounted for 39.5 % of the turnover generated in the business economy by EU affiliates, while more than a quarter (26.3 %) of these sales were made in distributive trades.

In 2014, manufacturing also accounted for the highest share (38.6 %) of the extra-EU workforce employed by EU affiliates, followed by distributive trades (16.3 %). Compared with their shares of total turnover, administrative and support service activities (10.1 %) and accommodation and food service activities (5.6 %) were relatively labour-intensive, accounting for a much higher share of the workforce employed by EU foreign affiliates (compared with their shares of turnover).

Figure 4: Share of turnover and persons employed in foreign affiliates abroad, by economic activity, EU-28, 2014
(% of extra-EU total)
Source: Eurostat (fats_out2_r2)

People employed by EU affiliates across different economic activities

Most of the people working for EU affiliates in 2014 were located in the United States

Figure 5 shows the share of people employed by EU affiliates across a selection of different economic activities [1]. The United States was the principal location for people working for EU affiliates in 2014 — it often accounted for approximately one quarter of the total number of people working for EU affiliates, although its share was considerably lower for the manufacture of textiles and wearing apparel. Among the activities shown, publishing, computer programming and information services was the only one where the United States did not account for the highest number of persons employed by EU affiliates, as just over one third (33.5 %) of this workforce was employed by EU affiliates located in India. More generally, outside of the United States, the most common locations for people to be working for EU affiliates included China, India and Brazil.

The activities of EU affiliates were often quite concentrated across a small number of foreign economies: for example, just five partners accounted for at least 7 out of every 10 persons employed by EU affiliates outside the EU in the manufacture of transport equipment and in publishing, computer programming and information services. By contrast, the five largest partners accounted for no more than 27.6 % of the total workforce employed by affiliates outside the EU for the manufacture of textiles and wearing apparel.

Figure 5: Share of persons employed in foreign affiliates abroad, by selected economic activity and partner, EU-28, 2014
(% of extra-EU employment)
Source: Eurostat (fats_out2_r2)
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Notes

  1. Note: information for Singapore is included in the aggregate covering offshore financial centres for Figure 5 (contrary to the remainder of this publication where data for Singapore is shown separately and therefore excluded from the aggregate covering offshore financial centres).