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How Do Porter's Five Forces of Competition Apply in the Context of Foreign Direct Investment?

How Do Porter's Five Forces of Competition Apply in the Context of Foreign Direct Investment?

London, 12 June 2024

By Angelos Tsigkopoulos: Publisher, The Decision Maker magazine and Founder & CEO, Diorasis Group

(Michael Porter. Picture by: Wikimedia Commons)

Known for his expertise in competitive strategy and economic competitiveness, Michael Porter is a renowned professor at Harvard Business School. He introduced Porter's Five Forces, a framework utilized to analyse the competitive dynamics of an industry.

Understanding the Five Forces of Competition According to Michael Porter

1. Competitive Rivalry

This force evaluates the intensity of competition among existing firms in the industry. High levels of rivalry can lead to price wars, reduced profitability, and a necessity for differentiation strategies to stand out.

2. Supplier Power

Supplier power gauges the influence suppliers wield over the industry. Strong supplier power can result in increased input costs, restricted access to vital resources, and challenges in negotiating favourable terms.

3. Buyer Power

Buyer power examines the impact customers have on the industry. High buyer power can result in requests for reduced prices, higher quality products, and increased competition among firms to cater to customer preferences.

4. Threat of Substitution

This force considers how easily customers can switch to alternative products or services. The higher the threat of substitution, the greater the need for firms to differentiate their offerings and provide unique value to customers.

5. Threat of New Entry

The threat of new entry assesses the barriers faced by new competitors in entering the industry. High barriers, such as significant capital requirements or strong brand loyalty, can deter new entrants and protect existing firms from heightened competition.

Analysing FDI Investments Through the Lens of Porter's Five Forces

How can foreign investors utilise Porter's Five Forces to safeguard their investments? By examining each force, investors can evaluate the competitive environment of the market they intend to enter, identify potential risks and opportunities, and devise strategies to mitigate threats and capitalize on strengths. For instance, comprehending supplier power can aid investors in negotiating favourable terms with suppliers and establishing a stable supply chain. Analysis of buyer power can inform pricing strategies and customer relationship management to retain a loyal customer base. Assessing the threat of substitution can guide product development and differentiation efforts to create a distinct value proposition in the market.

Current FDI Inflow in Europe

The first decline in European foreign direct investment (FDI) since 2020 was brought on by sluggish economic growth, skyrocketing energy costs, rising inflation, and a volatile geopolitical climate. Investment was also harmed by the declining need for new offices as a result of more people working remotely.

According to the 23rd EY Europe Attractiveness Survey, despite a 5% annual reduction in the number of projects, France managed to acquire the most investment. The UK came in second place with a 6% increase in projects. Germany finished third after investment declined by 12%.

Other recent independent data indicates that Europe remains a significant destination for foreign direct investment, with key players from across the globe investing in various sectors throughout the continent.

Noteworthy sectors for FDI in Europe include technology, finance, manufacturing, and healthcare. To safeguard their investments in the European market, foreign investors should conduct a comprehensive analysis of Porter's Five Forces specific to their industry and target market.

By understanding the competitive dynamics at play, investors can make informed decisions, mitigate risks, and maximize the potential for success in their FDI endeavours.

Conclusively, Porter's Five Forces of Competition present a valuable framework for evaluating the competitive landscape of an industry and guiding strategic decision-making for foreign investors. By leveraging these forces, investors can assess market risks and opportunities, devise effective strategies, and protect their investments for enduring success.


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