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2020 Report: Defying the Crisis

The annual Germany Trade & Invest FDI report shows that Germany has attracted more foreign business in 2020 than experts had predicted. We documented 1,684 international companies who set up shop with greenfield investments, expansions and relocations.

Report summary

The 2020 figures were down nine percent compared to 2019. But the decline is anything but surprising considering the global coronavirus crisis. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicted that foreign business investments would decline by fifteen percent within the EU, so nine percent is ultimately positive news.

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

Read the 2020 GTAI FDI report press release.

Key findings

  • Germany’s federal states registered 1,684 FDI projects (greenfield, expansions, relocations, but excluding M&A) in 2020 - a nine percent decrease compared to the previous year.
  • Additionally, 372 M&A transactions were recorded in which foreign investors purchased more than 50 percent of shares.
  • The US led all countries in greenfield projects with 254, while the EU was the leading source region.
  • Foreign companies preferred investments in the ICT and communications sector, followed by business and financial services.
  • 19 percent of these companies use Germany as a production or R&D location.


Download the 2020 GTAI FDI report

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