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Berlin: Germany attracted a record 6.2 billion euros (Dh25.56 billion; $6.96 billion) in foreign investment in 2015 as the number of new investors reached an all-time high, largely because of growing interest from China, the trade and investment agency said on Friday.

Foreign investors began 1,912 new projects last year, up some 60 per cent from a year earlier, according to a report by Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), a government agency.

The value of projects nearly doubled, from 3.2 billion euros in 2014, and foreign investment created at least 30,000 new jobs in Europe’s biggest economy last year, GTAI said.

“Germany is scoring with its large market, stable general framework and its good domestic economic activity,” GTAI director Achim Hartig told Reuters.

China was the largest single investor for a second straight year with 260 new projects, followed by the United States with 252 and Switzerland with 203.

The figures, which exclude mergers and acquisitions, account for projects currently on the ground. The GTAI counted 413 foreign-led M&A deals in 2015.

Those were dominated by American companies, with British companies in second place. Despite fears of a surge of Chinese takeovers, they only accounted for eight of the foreign-led M&A deals.

In terms of direct investment in property, plants and equipment, Germany’s private sector has spent almost 60 billion euros in China, dwarfing the amount that Chinese groups have invested in Germany, according to the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

— Reuters