For the first time in 15 years, since the multinational professional services and consultancy firm Ernst & Young started its survey on Europe’s most attractive destinations, Paris has overtaken London. The change in the ranking is believed to be the result of the combination of Brexit and the “Macron Effect”. France’s overall attractiveness to investors continued to improve last year partly thanks to French President’s economic reforms. Another factor helping France is the Europe-wide economic recovery, EY partner Marc Lhermitte explained.
Paris won the ranking as No. 1 for foreign investment by 37 percent of businesses, based on 502 companies and data from EY and IMB covering 2017. Great Britain as a whole, however, maintained its position of Europe’s top destination for foreign direct investment in 2017. With 1,205 of the 6,653 new FDI projects in Europe, the country is ahead of Germany’s 1,124 projects and France’s 1,019 projects. Yet, France has improved by 31 percent year-on-year while the number of investment into Britain was 6 percent higher than in 2016, indicating a slowdown.
Since 2003, this is the first time Paris scored better than London. Both capitals were then followed by Berlin and Frankfurt, which came third and fourth respectively. “The UK is feeling the effect of Brexit,” the E&Y report said. “Investment slowed after the 2008 financial crisis, but France is now in catch-up mode, and a beneficiary of Brexit,” it added, citing President Emmanuel Macron’s reforms to make the labor market more flexible.