Dublin closes gap on London in top European FDI rankings

Second placed Dublin is capitalising on ‘Brexit jitters’ to attract investment ahead of Paris and Frankfurt

Dublin is capitalising on “Brexit jitters” and now sits in second place behind London in a new foreign direct investment league table after a raft of financial services investment wins .

In a study of the most promising investment locations in Europe, fDi Magazine – a publication from the Financial Times – ranked Dublin in second place, behind London and ahead of its competitors for Brexit projects Amsterdam (4th) and Frankfurt (7th). Dublin was also named fDi's Northern European Region of the Future, top small European region overall, as well as the top small region for economic potential and business friendliness.

"With eyes on the unfolding Brexit negotiations across the Irish Sea, the city is seeking to benefit from companies that might consider leaving London to find a new financial services hub to call home. Dublin received the same number of projects in the financial services sector in the first three quarters of 2017 as it received in the whole of 2016 and 2015 combined," the study found, pointing to investments from companies like TD Securities and Bank of America.

The study also found that Dublin received the highest level of capital investment in R&D of all the cities studied, welcoming more than $1.6 billion in R&D investments in the five years to September 2017


Overall, London still reigns as Europe’s FDI star, having welcomed 1,880 foreign investments in the five years to September 2017, the highest of all 301 cities included in the ranking. Nearly half of all investments made were in software and IT services, followed by almost one-fifth in business services and more than 12 per cent in financial services.

The UK’s capital city also topped the ranking for business friendliness and human capital and lifestyle categories - following the UK’s high performance in various indices, including the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking and three of the city’s business schools feature in the Global MBA Rankings for 2016.

When it comes to regions, Paris won the top spot, attracting more than 1,000 investments between October 2012 and September 2017, greater than any other region in the study, helping it become the regional winner in the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 ranking.

Elsewhere Birmingham was ranked first, of all large European cities, for its FDI strategy, while Bordeaux, a city of more than 250,000 people in south-west France, was ranked first, among all mid-sized European cities, for its FDI Strategy.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times