The foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the EU dropped nearly 90 percent to €37 billion ($41.8 billion) in 2017, compared to €340 billion ($377.4 billion) in 2016, Eurostat said on Friday.
According to the preliminary results, the U.S. companies withdrew around €274 billion ($309.6 billion) of net overseas direct investment capital from the EU last year, which generated an overall downward inclination of FDI flows.
Similarly, the EU investors pulled out €67 billion ($75.7 billion) of direct investment from the U.S. in the same period, the statistical office of the EU said in a statement.
Switzerland — for the second year in a row — was the EU’s main direct investor with over €90 billion ($101.7 billion) of net liabilities in 2017, and €71 billion ($78.8 billion) of direct investments in 2016.
It was followed by Japan with €13 billion ($14.7 billion) and Canada with €11 billion ($12.4 billion) direct investments last year.
While Switzerland’s net liabilities were incurred by resident direct investment enterprises, the direct investors in the EU provided €61 billion ($68.9 billion) FDI capital to Switzerland — the most of the EU’s FDI net acquisitions made abroad last year.
The flow of FDI from the EU to areas outside the union dropped by 52.2 percent in 2017 year-on-year, reaching €120 billion ($135.6 billion), versus €250 billion ($277.5 billion) in 2016.
Last year, the EU firms cut some €7 billion ($7.9 billion) investment into Russia, compared with €430 million ($477 million) decline in 2016.