With its highly educated population of over 500 million, a GDP of over €12.97 trillion (2012), constituting 23% of global nominal GDP, the EU has the largest nominal GDP in the world. A single market is maintained throughout the EU by means of a standardized system of laws that apply in every single one of its 28 Member States.
Furthermore, the Schengen Area incorporating 22 EU Member States and the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States has virtually abolished all internal borders and prohibited systematic customs and tax controls. This all means that any enterprise established in any EU Member State has the freedom to extend its operations throughout the Single Market, potentially reaching virtually every consumer within the EU. The investment policy of the EU strives to provide investors with maximum market access, legal certainty, and a stable, predictable, fair and properly regulated environment.
At the same time, despite all the trade and investment opportunities available, there is still a considerable unfulfilled economic and investment potential. Many of the new EU Members from Central and Eastern Europe, such as Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary attained record levels of FDI inflows prior to 2009, partly owing to the European integration process. Although the FDI inflows dropped significantly during the economic crisis, as of 2013, investment inflows are rising again and are estimated to substantially increase over the next years. The reasons for this are clear: besides the end of the economic crisis, these countries are now full members of the EU, incorporating all the advantages of the EU Single Market, while retaining their comparative and competitive advantages such as lower labour costs, skilled workforce and lower tax rates.
1) Resource 1: “EU Countries Profile Handbook” (Potential Investment Destination), May 2014, GBMC
This handbook consists in an Overview of Regional Strengths in the 28 EU countries. That is, we have tried to highlight the comparative advantages and potential investment opportunities in various regions of Europe. To do that, we have sorted the EU countries in groups and underline characteristics for each region.
– for Northern Europe-Scandinavia: green innovation, renewable energies, clean technologies, environment, energy efficiency ….
– for the Baltic States: cybersecurity, the flourishing ICT sectors at lower labor costs
– for Western Europe: advanced R&D infrastructures and highly educated workforce, with market leaders innovating in ICT and cloud computing, aerospace, automotive, chemical and biotech industries.
– for Southern Europe: tourism as well as important business activities in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, biotech and ICT industries.
– for Eastern and Central Europe: coexistence of the big steering and mature powerhouses like Germany and Austria, with the dynamic and low labor costs new Member States expanding into aerospace, automotive, ICT and biotech industries.
– for the Black Sea area: unexplored natural resources, low labor costs, bridge towards Turkey, the Middle East and former Soviet States
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2) Resource 2: “An assessment of key EU industrial sectors open to Japanese technological cooperation and investment”, Septembre 2014, GBMC for the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation.
This publication is intended to help Japanese researchers, companies and other organisations to take advantage of the considerable opportunities to establish and develop industrial activities or relationships in the EU. It begins with an explanation of how EU industry is expected to change, the impact and benefits the EU Single Market offers, how IPR protection is simplifying and strengthening, and new opportunities under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. Then, it identifies key industrial sectors and sub-sectors likely to be of potential interest to Japan, including brief mention of some of the countless recent examples demonstrating the already-close industrial ties. Finally, its case studies outline the experience of 14 Japanese companies and business federations which have established activities in Europe.
3) Resource 3: “Destination Europe – The EU Single Market: an attractive destination for Japanese FDI”, Septembre 2014, GBMC for the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation.
This publication is an information material on the European Union as an attractive destination for Japanese investments. The European Union has historically been a major destination for foreign direct investment, offering Japanese companies the benefits of a Single Market of more than 500 million people. At the same time, there is still a considerable potential for further expansion of Japanese investment activity in the EU Member States now that the economies of Japan and the EU are on the way to becoming even more integrated as a result of the ongoing Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Japanese companies and investors will find useful information about the benefits of the EU Single Market that will encourage them to invest in one or several of our 28 Member States.
ACCESS: Direct Link: http://www.eu-japan.eu/sites/eu-japan.eu/files/DestinationEurope_1.pdf
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