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UK Attracts Record Foreign Direct Investment in 2014

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UK Attracts Record Foreign Direct Investment in 2014

By - Wednesday 17 September 2014

The UK has attracted the most inward investment projects since records began in the 1980s, creating the highest number of new jobs since 2001.

Annual investment figures from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for 2013 to 2014 show that the UK attracted 14% more projects than the previous year. This data has been supported by external sources such as Ernst & Young (EY) who confirm that the UK remains the number one destination in Europe for foreign direct investment projects (FDI).

The report goes on to show that 66,390 new jobs were created as a result of inward investment, the highest since 2001.

A total of 1,773 investment projects were set up by foreign businesses in the UK during 2013, with 122 projects creating 5,374 new jobs in Scotland.

David Cameron welcomed the announcement which was made ahead of the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow at the end of July, commenting that:

"Part of our long-term economic plan for the UK is about promoting every part of our country to the world and Glasgow's Commonwealth Games will give us another fantastic platform to do this."

"I promise this government will continue to work on behalf of every hardworking business in the UK to drum up trade, encourage investment and pave the way for growth so we can generate jobs, pay our way in the world and create stability, security and a brighter future for our country."

night construction

FDI stimulates economic activity in core sectors, driving strong, sustainable growth.

The report showed that FDI income streams were not limited to London, recording an even spread of benefits throughout the UK with England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London all recording increases in the number of investment projects being kick-started by foreign investment.

Job creation has been a particular benefit of increased FDI. Since 2010, UKTI has recorded 6,172 inward investment projects which are estimated to have created more than 220,000 jobs. Over the same period UKTI has recorded 412 projects in Scotland creating almost 21,000 new jobs.

Northern Ireland has enjoyed a particularly fruitful period for FDI, increasing by 32% from 2013 while Wales registered an 18% increase in the number of investments and Scotland received a 10% boost.

The volume of FDI projects in England, excluding London, also increased by 11% reaching 840 projects.

FDI in Wales had the largest impact on the employment market, creating an average 132 jobs per investment project. Scotland followed with 87 jobs per project with Northern Ireland at 77 jobs and London creating or safeguarding an average of 44 jobs for each individual investment.

FDI chart

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said: "

"It's been an exceptional year of foreign investment with record project numbers creating the highest number of new UK jobs since 2001. This excellent performance demonstrates the effectiveness of the government's plans to deliver growth."

"It shows that our strategy to attract investors to the UK by creating one of the most business-friendly environments in the world is the right one and it is proof that foreign investors have confidence in the UK as the best place to do business," he added.

FDI inflows are mainly from the UK's established economic partners in Europe, North America and Japan but the report also identifies key growing markets such as India and China.

The largest source of FDI projects in the UK is the US who generated 501 projects, an increase of 27%. Investment from Canada reached new heights in 2013 with 89 projects, up a significant 41%.

The two largest European contributors to foreign investment were France and Germany both delivering over 100 projects, representing increases of 18% and 31% respectively.

Throughout 2013 to 2014 investments from emerging markets have shown continued growth with Poland, South Africa, UAE, Brazil and Mexico demonstrating a year-on-year increase in investment into the UK.

Foreign direct investment is central to economic expansion as it stimulates growth principally through job creation. Increased sentiment for the UK from foreign investors underpins core economic sectors such as manufacturing and real estate however, more importantly FDI provides a good foundation for strong, sustainable growth.

man in warehouse

The Warehouse sector has seen significant improvement on the back of growth in the online retail market

In conclusion, Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

"The UK has received a major vote of confidence from foreign investors confirming that the UK remains a world leading business destination. Attracting foreign investment is an important element of the UK Government's economic and growth programme and UKTI will continue to work with companies to help create and sustain a globally attractive, highly competitive and truly international economy."

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