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Investor interest in Europe on the rise, survey finds

Europe is increasingly attractive as an investment destination for global investors, shows a survey by Invest Europe.

The trade association, which represents Europe's private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, said in its Global Investment Decision Makers Survey 2018 that 91% of U.S. and China investors cited Europe as more attractive than five years ago, compared with 71% in the U.S. and 78% of China investors in last year's survey.

Among all global investors, 78% expect increased investment in the region over the next five years as they become more positive on allocating to both the European Union and the U.K. following Brexit.

Europe was also cited as more attractive relative to other investment destinations. Among Chinese investors, 38% said their view of Europe has improved because of a decline in the U.S.' attractiveness, and more than 25% of respondents overall agreed.

Europe ranked above the U.S. and China for its highly skilled workforce, transport infrastructure and regulatory climate, and Europe also beat the U.S. as the leader on innovation and entrepreneurship, taxation levels and access to global markets.

The stable regulatory environment was cited by 97% of Chinese investors as being important when making investment decisions.

However, information technology infrastructure and level of economic growth saw Europe lag the U.S. Regarding political stability in Europe, investor confidence fell to 40% from 50% last year; and confidence in social stability in Europe fell to 39% from 50% a year earlier.

Further, confidence in Europe's commitment to sustainability and the environment fell among global investors, to 50% from 74% in last year's survey.

"Global investors are increasingly looking toward Europe," said Michael Collins, CEO, Invest Europe, in a statement accompanying the survey. "The Continent is now outshining China and the (U.S.) in many areas, from its skilled workforce to its open markets and thriving innovation. While Europe isn't immune to the political and social strain being felt around the world, if policymakers focus on regulatory stability, investment in innovation and better capital markets integration, Europe can be on top in the years to come."