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Foreign Direct Investment stocks at the end of 2018

26/03/2020

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Net foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks held in the rest of the world by investors resident in the European Union (EU) amounted to €8 750 bn at the end of 2018, down by 0.9% compared with the end of 2017. Meanwhile, investment stocks held by the rest of the world in the EU also decreased slightly to €7 197 bn at the end of 2018 (-1.1%). Consequently, the EUˈs net investment position vis-a-vis the rest of the world was marginally lower than a year earlier i.e. €1 553 bn at the end of 2018 compared with €1 558 bn at the end of 2017.

 

Evolution of EU's FDI over time, 2013 2018

Source dataset: bop_fdi6_pos

 

Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) resident in the EU continued to play a significant role in FDI, albeit a less prominent one than a year earlier. At the end of 2018, they accounted for 51% of the total EU FDI stocks held abroad and for 61% of the FDI stocks held by the rest of the world in the EU, compared with 53% and 64% respectively in 2017.

 

USA and the UK: by far the main FDI partners

At the end of 2018, the United States absorbed 25% of the total FDI stocks held by the EU in the rest of the world (€2 181 bn), closely followed by the United Kingdom (€1 814 bn, 21%). They were far ahead of Switzerland (€1 015 bn, 12%), Canada (€392 bn, 4%), Brazil (€312 bn, 4%), Russia (€277 bn, 3%), Bermuda (€263 bn, 3%) and China (incl. Hong Kong; €256 bn, 3%).

 

Share of stocks held by the EU in the rest of the world, 2018

Source dataset: bop_fdi6_pos

 

In the reverse direction, United States' direct investors accounted for 25% (€1 806 bn) of the total FDI stocks held by the rest of the world in the EU at the end of 2018 and those of the United Kingdom for 19% (€1 363 bn). They were followed by those from Switzerland (€751 bn, 10%), Bermuda (€657 bn, 9%), Canada (€397 bn, 6%), Jersey (€266 bn, 4%), Cayman Islands (€232 bn, 3%), China (incl. Hong Kong, €202 bn, 3%) as well as Japan (€192 bn, 3%).

 

Share of stocks held by the rest of the world in the EU, 2018

Source dataset: bop_fdi6_pos

Notes

  • These data are subject to revision.
  • FDI stocks help to quantify the impact of globalisation and measure longstanding economic links between countries (according to immediate counterpart criteria). They provide an indication of the relative importance of a country's economic presence abroad, or that of foreign partners in the reporting entity, measured in terms of FDI capital.
  • The EU data presented in this news item is for the new EU27 aggregate as a reporting entity (Eurostat database code EU27_2020). The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.
  • The EU27 data reflect the political change in the EU composition so the UK is considered as an extra-EU partner country for the EU27. However, the UK was still part of the internal market during the period covered, meaning that data on the UK were based on statistical concepts applicable to exchanges between EU Member States.

 

For more information

Eurostat website section dedicated to foreign direct investment statistics

Eurostat database on balance of payments and EU direct investments

Eurostat Statistics Explained article on FDI statistics methodology

 

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