Unprecedented’ record of foreign direct investment


11th June 2018

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen in UK top 10 for attracting inward investment.

Scotland has achieved an ‘unprecedented’ record of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) according to Ernst & Young’s latest Attractiveness Survey. This is the third consecutive year that investment in Scotland has set new record levels.

Alison Henderson, CEO of Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce commented: “It is very positive to see Scotland performing well in attracting foreign direct investment, but I’d like to see more being done centrally to support the ambitions of Dundee and the Tay Cities area in attracting investment. We have 500,000 residents in the region and 15,500 businesses based here. Our businesses are ambitious - we need to tell the story of the skills and innovation which are thriving in and around Dundee. The Tay Cities Trade and Investment Partnership is working hard to make this a compelling story and we look forward to this bearing fruit very soon.”

The report’s top findings include:

-Scotland sets a new record for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in 2017 for the third consecutive year, with an increase of 7% compared to 2016.

-Scotland secures its position as the most attractive location in the UK for R&D projects for a second consecutive year with an increase of 70% compared with 2016.

-The Digital sector experienced a 56% increase in FDI projects and was the second largest sector to attract investment into Scotland behind Business Services.

-Manufacturing activity experienced a 25% increase of FDI in 2017, compared to 2016.

-6000 jobs have been created as a result of inward investment in 2017

Welcoming the report, Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:

“This report shows Scotland has achieved another excellent performance in inward investment in 2017, with an increase in both numbers of projects and jobs reported.

"The EY results confirm Scotland's position as the top UK destination after London for inward investment, with the increase in projects coming to Scotland greater than that across the UK‎.

“It also reflects the underlying attractiveness of Scotland for R&D and digital investment, where we are outperforming the UK, both in terms of the number of projects and in the growth in projects. There is also a significant increase in the number of jobs being created as a result of this investment, with over 6,000 jobs in 2017, a record year for Scotland.

“It is also encouraging that the digital sector experienced a 56% increase in FDI projects and was the second largest sector to attract investment into Scotland behind business services and manufacturing activity, which experienced a 25% increase of FDI in 2017, compared to 2016.

“While these strong investment and employment figures reflect the continuing attractiveness of Scotland, the full report shows the damage Brexit is already doing to the UK’s reputation as a location for investment, with Paris replacing London as the top city location.‎

"Our continuation in the single market and customs union post Brexit is crucial for business and investment. We are doing all we can to mitigate the impact of Brexit on our business community – it means the ability to trade in a market which is around eight times bigger than the UK market alone. That is why I recently announced a new grants scheme to help exporters get ready for Brexit and help business deal with the economic consequences of leaving the EU.

“We are determined that Scotland will continue to be attract further new investment and enhance our global reputation, which is why we launched an international campaign - Scotland is Now - to promote Scotland as a place to invest, to live, to work and to study."

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