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REGIONSEUROPE


THE REGION TOOK FIVE OF THE TOP SIX SPOTS IN 2021 OF THE MILKEN’S GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY INDEX


Europetakes FDItopspot


Europe dominates the leader- board of the Milken Institute’s annual FDI attractiveness ranking for the first time, ending Hong Kong’s five-year reign in top spot and reinforcing the region’s resil- ience post-Brexit. Sweden took pole position in the


think tank’s latest Global Opportunity Index, which measures howfriendly and supportive 145 countries’ institutions and policies are towards foreign investors. The UK placed second, followed by the US, the Netherlands and Switzerland rounding out the top five. Hong Kong and Singapore had


been the top performers since 2017, testament to their efforts to attract capital inflows. But they recently lost their edge to Europe’s more well-rounded, high-income countries thanks to their stability, strengthening business frameworks and economic merits. “It’s the fact that they are


perceived as a safe bet,” said Claude Lopez, head of the Milken Institute’s research department. “Leaving Brexit to the side, Europe has been relatively strong and stable.” The region’s front-runners


performed well in all five areas covered by the rankings: economic fundamentals, financial services, business perception, institutional framework, and international standards and policy. “They were always among the top countries, but [this year] is a validation of their strengths and consistency across the different categories,” Ms Lopez added.


Switzerland has climbed 20


spots since 2017, and the Netherlands 18 spots. Meanwhile, Denmark has risen 17 spots to rank sixth and Finland 13 spots to place eighth.


China’s growing influence


finally caught up with Hong Kong, which has tumbled to number 17 in the wake of waning political autonomy, social unrest and a


68


Abu Dhabi’s £1bn investment


TheUKgovernment has signed a long-terminvestment agreement with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala to invest £1bn in UK life sciences businesses to boost post-pandemic recovery. Mubadala, which is one of the


world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with asset under management of around $232bn, committed to investing £800mover five years, which will be deployed alongside the UK’s £200m Life Sciences Investment Programmeannounced in 2020, the UK Office for Investment (OfI) said in a note on March 24. The deal is part of a sovereign


Europe has stolen some of Hong Kong’s thunder


contracting economy. Last year, the number of foreign companies with offices in Hong Kong fell for the first time since 2009. Advanced economies continue to


occupy the top 30 spots, which is further evidence of the timeless appeal of a predictable investment climate. Oscar Contreras, international finance economist at the Milken Institute, believes developed countries will likely continue to be the most attractive for international capital flows. “In an environment of huge global uncertainties, many of the weaknesses of non-developed countries become more apparent and the strengths of developed countries become clearer,” he said. Africa is the lowest-ranking


region overall; however, its business perception — the measure of regulatory ease of starting and operating a business — has improved. Mauritius is consistently the continent’s best performer, followed by South Africa.■ DANIELLEMYLES


investment partnership (SIP) between the UK and the UAE. The SIP is the first of its kind for the UK and is aimed at enhancing the next generation of UK life science companies. The deal strengthens UK-UAE trade and investment ties, and fosters a future-focused relationship between the two countries within innovation-led sectors such as energy transition and infrastructure, the note by the OfI highlights.■ NAOMIGALLAGHER


Volkswagen’s $14bnorder


The Germancar manufacturer has selected Northvolt as its lead supplier for premiumbatteries, with an order worth more than $14bn over the next 10 years. Northvolt’s factory in Sweden will be expanded to support the order. The deal marks the next stage in


the partnership between the two companies, as Northvolt announced that it has also sold its share of the pair’s joint venture to Volkswagen. Thomas Schmall, head of


Volkswagen’s components division, said “Volkswagen will continue to deepen the collaboration and partnership with Northvolt,” adding that: “They are one of our key battery suppliers as we make the transition to electric mobility — and there is potential to expand this partnership even further.” SETHO’FARRELL


www.fDiIntelligence.com April/May 2021


£800M


SOVEREIGNWEALTHFUNDMUBADALA WILLINVEST£800MINUKLIFESCIENCES OVERTHENEXTFIVEYEARS


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