Stock data Capital links with foreign countries

Domestic direct investment abroad

Germany’s outward primary and secondary foreign direct investment (FDI) was down by €75 billion at the end of 2020 to €1,315 billion. Almost 30%, or €353 billion worth, of all German FDI went to the United States, which was once again number one.

Foreign direct investment in the reporting country

At the end of 2020, primary and secondary inward FDI into Germany totalled €594 billion, with the lion’s share coming from European countries. Accounting for a share of 80%, Europe was even more strongly represented as a source of inward FDI than as a recipient of German outward FDI.

Domestic direct investment abroad by Top10 economic activities


The adjacent chart portrays the links between German and foreign economic sectors arising from primary and secondary German FDI. It shows that many German enterprises, such as manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts, manufacturers of chemical products, and banks, primarily invest in their own sector abroad. By contrast, investment by domestic holding companies with and without a management function is more diversified. Although these companies invest in their own sectors, too, they also maintain direct investment relationships with other major sectors abroad.

Foreign direct investment stock statistics provide information on capital links arising from residents’ participating interest in a foreign enterprise or those of non-residents in a German enterprise at the end of the year. The data are based on information from the reporting agents’ balance sheets.

The international investment position provides quarterly stock statistics. The figures are initially estimated at the current end and are subsequently compared with the annual stock statistics.