Over one-third of European foreign direct investment (FDI) projects announced in 2019 have been either delayed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey.

The annual Europe Attractiveness survey by professional services group EY found that 65 per cent of the 6,412 projects in question are already in place or continuing “albeit with downgraded capacity and recruitment.”

A further 25 per cent were delayed and 10 per cent have been cancelled, the survey found.

The data on the impact of the pandemic was gathered last month from a panel of 113 corporate decision-makers and a series of webinars with European investment agencies, reports Reuters.

The survey also showed France was overtaking Britain as Europe’s most popular investment destination, attracting 1,197 new projects in 2019, that is, a 17 per cent rise on the year before. FDI in Britain climbed 5.0 per cent in the same period.

“Growth of FDI projects in France come as local and global businesses and investors welcome reforms around labour legislation and corporate taxation,” EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner Julie Teigland, said about President Emmanuel Macron’s reform agenda.

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