France – Considerable increase in international investments
On 27 February 2023, the French government announced that the number of international investments in France had increased in 2022 compared to 2021: 1,725 investment decisions were recorded in France that year, an increase of 7% compared to 2021. Projects in the energy and recycling sectors have grown particularly strongly, but international investors have also shown interest in the electronics, agri-food and health sectors. The leading investors in France last year were the United States (280 projects), followed by Germany (256) and the United Kingdom (176).
The announcement can be accessed here.
Slovakia – FDI Regime enters into force
Slovakia’s new FDI regime, adopted on 29 November 2022, will enter into force on 1 March 2023. Under the current legislation, only certain transactions in the critical infrastructure sector are subject to investment screening. Since March, Slovakia disposes of a general investment screening regime, which expands the scope of foreign investments subject to mandatory screening. The Ministry of Economy, as the competent authority carrying out the review, assesses whether the investment in question may have a negative impact on security and public order in Slovakia and approves and takes a decision accordingly.
Sweden – Introduction of new FDI regime
On 16 March, the Swedish Government has presented a draft legislative bill introducing the first FDI regime in Sweden. It significantly broadens the current powers of Swedish authorities to put foreign investments under scrutiny. The FDI Act will transpose the EU FDI Regulation into national law apply to a broad variety of sectors, such as security-sensitive activities, essential services, military equipment, emerging technologies, and critical raw materials, metals and minerals. The Swedish regime is more far-reaching than the FDI regime in other EU Member States as it also applies to investments from investors from Sweden and other EU Member States and not only third countries.
The FDI Act is expected to enter into force on 1 December 2023. It is available in Swedish here.
UNCTAD – Investment Policy Paper on evolution of FDI Screening Mechanisms
On 21 February 2023, UNCTAD has published a Policy Paper on the evolution of FDI Screening Mechanisms. It focuses on the rising adoption of investment screening mechanisms based on national security concerns and examines different models and regulatory options. UNCTAD compares 37 countries from around the world and concludes that it is highly likely that that investment screening regimes will expand among developing countries.
The Policy Paper can be accessed here.