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2018 Report: Setting New Records

2,062 foreign companies opened up businesses in Germany in 2018 – a new record. That is the result of the 2018 Germany Trade & Invest FDI Report.

Report summary

The EU is the most important source of Greenfield and expansion projects in Germany. The US holds its position as the top investor country leading the way with 345 investment projects – also a new record. The Americans were followed by Switzerland (229 projects), China (188) and the UK (168).

The number of British firms established in Germany since the Brexit referendum (2016-2018) has risen by 34 percent. Meanwhile the number of new Chinese companies in Germany fell by 33 percent compared to the same period (2016–2018). The number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) also went up, from 1,925 in 2017 to 2,825 in 2018 – an increase of more than 47 percent.

Read the 2018 GTAI FDI report press release.

Key findings

  • Altogether, Germany‘s federal states registered a record of 2,062 settlement projects (greenfields, expansions, relocations, not M&A) in 2018.
  • Additionally, foreign companies in Germany registered 2,852 M&A transactions, 497 of which involved foreign investors buying up more than 50 percent of shares.
  • The US led the way in terms of greenfield projects with 345, while most of the new facilities (more than 40 percent) were from the EU.
  • The most popular sectors last year were business and financial services, followed by IT, communications and software, consumer goods, and machine and parts manufacturing.
  • Roughly a third of foreign companies concentrated on marketing and distribution while 17 percent used Germany as a location for production and R&D.
  • In a poll conducted by Germany Trade & Invest 45 percent of British firms said that Brexit had influenced their decision to invest in Germany.


Download the 2018 GTAI FDI report

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