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LATEST INVESTMENTS


CHEMICALS FRENCHEXPANSION UK-based Infineum, a producer of petroleum additives for lubricants and fuels, has announced that it will invest $40m to expand its Notre Dame de Gravenchon lubricant additive plant in Port-Jérôme, France. The expansion is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2021, and will include the installation of a third magnesium sulfonate reactor to improve the production by allowing for continuous production.


COMMUNICATIONS GERMANINTERNET Telefónica Infra, a subsidiary of Spain-based telecommunications giant Telefónica, has entered into a joint venture with Allianz Capital Partners for the deployment of fibre to the home in Germany through a 50,000km network. The project foresees an investment volume of approximately €5bn by 2026. The Telefónica Group and the Allianz Group will each hold 50% of the company under a co-control model.


FOODANDBEVERAGES LIDLFRANCE Grocery retailer Lidl, a subsidiary of Germany-based Schwarz Beteiligungs, will invest €140m to set up a new head office in Châtenay-Malabry, France. The new 40,000 sqmcomplex will include the company’s head office and 3000 sqmof retail space. Construction will begin in


December 2020 and the entire complex is due to be operational in the second half of 2023.


HEALTHCARE COVIDTESTINGINIRELAND US-based health test firm Let’s Get Checked has announced it will expand its production capacity in Dublin, Ireland. The company is nowcreating an additional 50 new jobs to meet the ongoing surge in demand for coronavirus testing.


INDUSTRIALEQUIPMENT SPANISHEXPANSION SMC España, an industrial automation components manufacturer and a subsidiary of Japan-based SMC Corporation, is expanding its headquarters in Júndiz, Spain. The company is to invest $23.54m in the 1200 sqm expansion, which is scheduled for completion in summer 2022.


REALESTATE BUILDING INTHENETHERLANDS Deutsche Finance International, a private equity firm and a subsidiary of Germany-based Deutsche Finance, has acquired a residential-led development project in Amsterdam. The 46,135 sqmsite was purchased for the development of 600 residential units, including build-to-rent and for-sale homes, as well as units for ancillary commercial uses. The €200m investment is a joint venture with Netherlands-based Waterland Real Estate.


This investment news and data has been provided by fDi Markets, a crossborder investment tracking service that is part of The Financial Times Ltd’s fDi Intelligence division (www.fdiintelligence.com)


STATS


EUROPE TOPCOUNTRIES FOR GREENFIELD FDI BY PROJECTNUMBER (2003- 2019)


10 15 20


0 5


Source: fDi Markets December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


EUROPE TOPCOUNTRIES FOR GREENFIELD FDI BY CAPEX (2003-2019)


100 200 300 400 500 600


0 Source: fDi Markets


Europe T


Viewfrom


hankstoCovid-19,not onlyarewelivingin


difficulttimes,buttheold US–Europeanfriendship is crumbling.Trumpian


bullyingandtariff threatshavecaused likely irreparabledamagetothe transatlantic relationship. TheInternet of Things, robotics


andAI in areassuchaspredictive maintenanceandqualitycontrol. Theseareallmerely first glimpsesof whatisboundtobearevolutionin manufacturing, with far-reaching consequencesfor the future ofwork andtradeflows. So, ratherthanseeking to predict


whatis tocomeover thenext20 years,weshouldconsciously decide wherewewant to go. Will Biden succeedin repairingold ties?Maybe. Butultimately,doesitevenmatter? TheUSdebt:grossdomestic


productratiohasrisen from55%in 2001to106%in2019,whileAsians achieveastoundingsavingrates.While theUSis threateningEuropewith tariffs,ChinaandtheASEANstates are buildingavast freetradezone. WhilesenatorsCruz,Cottonand


JohnsonthreatentheGermanport of Sassnitz’s boardmembersand employeeswith “crushinglegaland economicsanctions”, Chinais buildinga‘newSilkRoad’ toEurope. Dowewant towelcomeChinese


investmentsandwheredowedraw the line if reciprocal freedomsarenot grantedtoEuropeanfirms?Dowe want to ‘dobusiness’ withAsian nationsor insistonourmoralvalues? Wheredowestandonthetrade-off between‘big data’anddata protection?AreweEuropeanseven truly digitallysovereign? With Donald Trumpquestioning


Nato, and threatening to withdraw UStroops fromJapan and South Korea unless they paymore for “their protection”, Europeans and Asians alike are starting to realise that they will have to fend for themselves. Ifwedo,wewill be freer to decide ourown paths.Andthe argument certainly could bemade that there ismore of an Eurasian future than a transatlantic one.■


Martin G Kaspar is head of business development at a German Mittelstand company within the auto- motive industry.


Email: martin.georg.kaspar@gmail.com 75


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