Airbus is the aerospace and defense company most prolific at making international expansions, followed by The Boeing and Thales. GlobalData’s aerospace and defense foreign direct investment (FDI) company report highlights the current foreign investments made by leading aerospace and defense investors. Buy the report here.

Airbus has been the most active aerospace and defense greenfield investor between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024, according to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database. The parent company has been actively investing through several of its subsidiaries/company divisions.

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Greenfield foreign direct investment is when a company invests abroad to establish a new physical presence or expand an existing operation. Greenfield investments create jobs and/or involve a capital investment into the foreign location. Other forms of FDI, such as mergers and acquisitions, are not included as part of this definition.

The majority of Airbus investments were in the civil fixed-wing subsector. In fact, 42.5% of its total foreign investments were in this subsector. It also created projects across a further 11 subsectors.

By business function, most (43.7%) of Airbus projects were related to manufacturing. Sales, administration & marketing and R&D were the next most popular operations undertaken by Airbus.

The company has been active across eight world regions, mainly focused on Western Europe which received 52.9% of the company’s greenfield investments between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024. Its top three destination countries (by number of greenfield FDI projects) were Germany, the US and France. Combined these three countries account for 50% of its total number of aerospace and defense investments.

Airbus created more FDI projects in 2022 compared to any other year between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

Other leading FDI project generators in the aerospace and defense industry include The Boeing, Thales, RTX and Safran.

The US is the leading source market for outbound aerospace and defense greenfield FDI projects. The country accounts for 23.2% of total outbound aerospace and defense investment projects. There have been 84 unique parent companies from the US that have announced aerospace and defense FDI projects between between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

To further understand the top aerospace and defense FDI companies, access GlobalData’s Top Aerospace and Defense Foreign Direct Investment Companies report.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database records greenfield FDI throughout the world in real-time. The data can be used to analyse company cross-border expansion activities as well as identify industry, thematic and geographic trends.