How has the incorporation of international companies supported by Luxinnovation developed over the past months?
Jenny Hällen Hedberg: If we compare the first months of 2022 with the two previous years, there is a clear increase. While a total of 10 international companies that we have supported incorporated in Luxembourg in 2021, we reached 60% of that figure in Q1 2022. International statistics show that foreign direct investments are back to their pre-pandemic levels, and this reflects the same positive evolution in Luxembourg.
Jean-Michel Ludwig: We can see that many companies that put their plans of establishing a presence overseas on hold during the pandemic are now back on track. Companies that we were in contact with a few years ago have started to travel again and want to come for soft landing visits that we organise together with the House of Entrepreneurship or move ahead with their incorporation. We are confident about the future but remain prudent, as the development is still fragile due to the geopolitical situation with the war in Ukraine.
What foreign locations are most attractive to international companies?
Jenny Hällen Hedberg: After the pandemic hit, companies generally want to avoid unnecessary risks and prefer to invest in safe, stable countries with strong growth. There are also indications that they choose countries with solid democratic foundations. Luxembourg’s excellent long-term macroeconomic performance and its AAA rating by all major credit rating agencies are real assets.
What type of international companies are interested in coming to Luxembourg?
Jean-Michel Ludwig: Two examples of companies that have incorporated in Luxembourg in 2022 are Israeli cybersecurity specialist SIGA OT Solutions and South Korean data-driven artificial intelligence solutions developer Data Design Engineering. Just like most of the international companies that we work with, they reflect Luxembourg’s strong positioning in the digital and data economy field. They develop technologies that can be applied in various sectors: mobility, cybersecurity, finance, healthtech, industry and so on. Recently, several major companies have expressed an interest in setting up their European hubs here, and we hope that this will be confirmed in the coming months.
We mainly support research-driven companies developing new technology for a range of sectors of application.
Jenny Hällen Hedberg: In addition, we see a growing interest from companies specialising in edutech and metaverse. With its multilingualism and continuous efforts to enhance the school system, Luxembourg is an interesting testbed as well as an attractive location for companies that are targeting both the French and the German markets. It is also a fertile ground for innovation. We mainly support research-driven companies developing new technology for a range of sectors of application.
Where do the companies interested in Luxembourg come from?
Jenny Hällen Hedberg: Many of the companies that we are in touch with come from the US, Canada and Israel, and we see a renewed interest from South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Quite a lot of companies also come from other European countries, even our neighbours France and Germany. They are looking for a good base where they can address the European market, develop and refine their offering and grow.
Why do companies choose to do their foreign direct investment in Luxembourg?
Jenny Hällen Hedberg: For many companies, Luxembourg is a great location on the European continent: it is strategically located, the country is very international and everyone in the business world speaks English. It is easy to recruit highly educated people who speak a wide range of languages, not least German and French which is very attractive for companies that want to expand on these two major EU markets. International company executives are generally very happy with the support they receive from the Ministry of the Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and we at Luxinnovation through our investor care platform. We also frequently help international firms find partners among Luxembourg’s public research community for joint R&D projects.
Luxembourg has also developed tremendously over the past years – there is an energy here today that did not exist 20 years ago.
Luxembourg has also developed tremendously over the past years – the country has attracted an intellectual capital of young, dynamic talents from all over the world and there is an energy here today that did not exist 20 years ago. There is much more venture capital available today and a multitude of entrepreneurial ideas. People are enthusiastic and willing to help each other succeed with their business ventures.
Jean-Michel Ludwig: This energy is clearly visible in Luxembourg’s booming start-up community. It is important to point out that on top of the existing international companies that come here with our support, a substantial number of international entrepreneurs choose to create their start-ups in Luxembourg every year.
What stands out in the support that you offer to international companies?
Jenny Hällen Hedberg: I think companies particularly appreciate our personal approach. Luxinnovation’s business developers, who support international companies interested in coming here, are extremely well connected and can introduce them to key decision makers and potential clients. Luxembourg’s human size means that people know each other and work efficiently together. This makes the country a great springboard for launching business activities in Europe.
Photo credits: Luxinnovation/Marion Dessard