International Business Expansions to Germany Rebound in 2021

According to statistics annually compiled by Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), the number of FDI projects bounced back significantly last year, nearly reaching pre-corona levels.

1,806 international companies set up shop in Germany in 2021 in the form of either greenfield investments. That’s the main result of this year’s GTAI FDI Report.

The number of projects was up seven percent over 2020, rebounding almost fully to 1,851 in the final pre-corona year 2019.

“Our numbers show a fundamental recovery in foreign direct investment in Germany from the low in 2020,” says Germany Trade & Invest CEO Robert Hermann. “Investment amounts were comparatively modest due to a number of factors, but international companies’ interest in being part of Europe’s largest economy has persisted through the coronavirus pandemic.”

The GTAI FDI report is based on data from Germany’s 16 regional states, which in most cases doesn’t include amounts to be invested. The overall volume, however, is expected to be well in excess of EUR 7 billion. And it doesn’t include the massive expansion projects first announced in 2022 by Intel and Northvolt, which were worth at least EUR 17 billion and EUR 4 billion respectively.

The largest number of business expansions (254) originated from the United States, reflecting Germany’s continuing excellent reputation among American business people.

67 percent of FDI projects came from Europe, with FDI from the UK (+36 percent), the Netherlands (+36 percent), Denmark (+29 percent) and France (+24 percent) recording significant gains. By contrast, the number of projects from China and other parts of Asia declined.

“Both of those developments undoubtedly reflect the restrictions of travel, particularly over long distances, to which businesses continued to be subject in 2021,” explains Hermann.

19 percent of FDI projects came in the ICT sector, followed by business and financial services (15 percent) and consumer goods (12 percent).

For more information see Germany Trade & Invest’s FDI Reports.

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