Europe is still the world’s largest economy and continues to offer tremendous investment opportunities for US businesses. This is the conclusion of the 2017 edition of The Case for Investing in Europe, a yearly report commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU).
Recent years have brought a swirl of change to the European continent, but the deep integration of the US and Europe, drawing strength and stability from each other, remained the strand of continuity. For US companies that have stayed the course in Europe and persevered through the last few years of sluggish growth and political uncertainty, Europe remains among the most attractive markets in the world. In the latest Global Competitiveness Index, composed by the World Economic Forum, no less than 15 European countries are ranked in the top 30, with Belgium in 20th place.
The Case for Investing in Europe identifies 10 building blocks that make Europe successful, including the highly skilled and productive workforce, the innovation and world-class R&D infrastructure, and the ease of doing business. On a global basis, Europe accounted for 59% of total US affiliate R&D spending in 2014, $1.2 billion of which was invested in Belgium, making the country the 7th most important destination for R&D in Europe.
Europe remains a key pillar of the global economy and a critical component for the success of US firms. Europe continues to attract more than half of aggregate US foreign direct investment (FDI) outflows and represented roughly 60% of global total US foreign assets in 2014. No other region of the world has such an outsized influence on the economic success or failure of US firms as Europe.
Brexit will bring new challenges to the transatlantic business community, and although economic ripples will be felt for years, EU and US multinationals will carry on — and continue to do business through deeper trade and investment linkages.
The case for investing in Europe has never been stronger. Download the report here.