Paris overtook London as the most attractive destination for foreign investors, research report by the consultancy and audit agency Ernst & Young (EY) said, for the very first time in 15 years.
The change in rankings in the European continent is attributed by EY analysts to the combined effects of Brexit - UK's decision to leave the European Union, set to happen in March 2019 - and the so-called Macron Effect, i.e. a series of business-friendly reforms announced by the French President Emmanuel Macron.
The research, which used 2017 data sourced by EY and IBM, involved polling 502 global companies, with 37 percent of them choosing Paris as the most desirable destination for foreign direct investments (FDI), while 34 percent opted for London.
By country, the United Kingdom remained the top European destination for direct foreign investments in 2017, with 1,205 FDI projects started in the country, out of the total 6,653 tracked by EY. The UK was followed by Germany (with 1,124 projects) and France (with 1,019 projects).
However, the number of projects in France had jumped by 31 percent in only a single year, whereas the growth of FDI projects slowed down in the UK, and was only 6 percent up in 2017 compared to 2016.
This is the first time since 2003 that Paris topped London. In the report, the top two are followed by Berlin in third place, and Frankfurt in fourth.