Chinese companies’ European love affair continued through 2012 as investments in the continent rose by as much as 21 percent, according to a new report.

Europe received $12.6 billion from Chinese companies, making it the foremost destination for Chinese foreign investment, representing 33 percent of it, according to the report from the Hong Kong-based Dezan Shira & Associates’ Asia Briefing.

There are several reasons why the world’s second-largest economy is pouring money into debt-stricken Europe.

European companies are in need of fresh capital, and uncertain futures have left many of them valued at moderate prices.

China, on the other hand, is looking to transition into a consumer-focused economy. So it upped its investment in the European service sector by 165 percent, totaling $11 billion.

But there is another motivation for the Chinese: access to technology.

German researchers at the Technical University of Munich found that Chinese firms investing in Germany sought out tech firms with large product portfolios.

Meanwhile, European companies have courted the Chinese investors to gain a foothold in the country’s booming marketplace. Denmark’s Bang and Olufsen (Otcmkts:BGOUF), a maker of high-end stereos and televisions, signed a “strategic partnership” with two Chinese investors last year as it attempts to move past China’s metropolises into its smaller-tiered cities.

“In many cases, the experience has been a very positive one for the German companies involved,” Professor Isabell Welpe, the chair of strategy and organization at the Munich college, said in the report. “The investors’ strong financial footing has helped them safeguard jobs and production capacities, advance the development of their technologies and gain access to the Asian market.”