High numbers of Fortune Global 500 companies in the CEE-6 are being largely driven from Automotive, Industrials, Food, Beverages & Tobacco, Telecom & Media and Transportation sectors. According to the real estate consultancy company Colliers International’s latest “FDI into CEE infographic”, more Fortune Global companies locating in CEE-6 will increase demand for commercial real estate. 

Foreign Direct Investment has played a big role in the development of the economies and the commercial real estate market across the CEE-6 over the last 30 years. The Colliers “FDI into CEE infographic” takes a look at the spread of companies invested in the CEE-6 countries via an analysis of the constituents of the Fortune Global 500 index. 

The number of these global majors present in the region varies from around 60 in Slovakia and Bulgaria to 139 in Poland. Whilst Poland is the biggest economy, the ratio of the Fortune Global 500 companies present versus population size is much higher in Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. This correlates with the very high exports-to-GDP ratio prevalent in these three countries: 97% in Slovakia, 87% in Hungary and 79% in the Czech Republic. Bulgaria follows, neatly, on both these measures – 65%. Romania and Poland have lower ratios – 42% and 55% respectively. This might shield these larger countries somewhat if global trade is slowing, as it appears to be presently, but all the CEE-6 have significantly higher exports-to-GDP ratios than the global average (sitting at 29%).

„The quantitative development of the real estate market came naturally as a result of Romania’s accesion to the EU, but the qualitative growth is closely linked to the increase in activity among the largest and best performing companies in the world. Whatever happens over the short or medium term, given the caution regarding the global economy, over the longer term we can expect to see lower yields for office or industrial properties thanks to these bluechip tenants, which will raise the bar in the local economy”, Silviu Pop, Head of Research at Colliers, said.


The analysis of FDI flows over the last decade and a half suggests high numbers of Global Fortune 500 companies from the Automotive, Industrials, Food, Beverages & Tobacco, Telecom & Media and Transportation sectors across the region. Technology, interestingly, is over-represented as well. This is encouraging for the future positioning of the region in the world economy. 

Romania follows the trend, with Automotive registering the highest numbers – 14 companies – followed closely by Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Technology companies (12 both).
Large Financials and Consumer Goods & Retail companies are very under-represented. Energy companies are also relatively absent, perhaps for structural reasons. In terms of country of origin of Fortune Global 500 companies, China is very under-represented across the region in percentage terms, as are the likes of Canada, Taiwan, Australia and India. The major European countries are very visible, as are those from USA and South Korea in most countries. (source: Colliers)