The United Kingdom has maintained its position as the number one destination for foreign direct investment in Europe after attracting a record number of such projects, bringing in the largest financial value and associated jobs over the past year.
The annual investment figures from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for the 2014/15 financial year show that the UK attracted 1,988 FDI projects – 12 per cent more compared to 2013/14, estimated to have brought with them almost 85,000 new jobs and 23,000 safeguarded jobs across the UK.
The UK’s strong performance during 2014 has seen the country’s inward FDI stock – the value of accumulated FDI in the UK – break the £1 trillion level for the first time. This is the highest in Europe and third in the world after the United States and China.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The scale of foreign investment is a huge success story which shows that Britain is the place to do business and is more evidence that our long term economic plan is working. Securing investment from overseas is a key part of our One Nation policies to create thousands of jobs, provide security and opportunities for working people throughout the UK.”
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Maude said: “2014 was an exceptional year for UK inward investment and we are proud to be bucking the global trend. The UK is a great place for entrepreneurs and corporations to put their energy, their ideas, their money and their talents to work. The Government will continue to work hard to attract investment from across the globe to further strengthen the UK economy.”
UKTI statistics show that FDI into the UK came from more than 70 countries, including the world’s leading emerging markets. The USA remains the largest source of inward investment, with a total of 564 projects in 2014/15, followed by France (124 projects). Investment from India increased by 65 per cent making it the UK’s third largest source of FDI accounting for over 9,000 new and safeguarded jobs. There was also evidence of a strengthening relationship with China with 112 projects, including 13 from Hong Kong, in 2014/15 resulting in almost 6,000 new and safeguarded jobs.
Cameron and Lord Maude will today travel to Milan to meet with UK and international businesses at Milan Expo 2015. The Expo is a significant opportunity for British business, bringing the world’s business and tourism audience to their doorstep. UKTI is delivering a Global Business Programme to support UK companies and bring a billion pounds in economic benefit to the UK over time.
Leading international suppliers of offshore wind foundations EEW SPC (Germany) and Bladt Industries (Denmark) invested up to 30 million pounds to acquire and upgrade the former TAG Energy facility in Teeside, North East England. The facility will become part of the European manufacturing base for the firms and is envisaged to create 350 direct jobs in the area, as well as a significant number of jobs in the local supply chain.
Skoolbo – a Singaporean e-learning programme that helps children with reading and maths – invested 300,000 pounds to bring its business to the UK. The company has recruited six staff members and its programme has been adopted by 20 percent of the UK’s primary schools.
In order to strengthen these key global relationships, the Minister for Trade and Investment has also today announced the date for the fifth GREAT Global Investment Conference, which will take place in London on 17 September this year.
The conference will bring together global corporate leaders and other investment stakeholders to discuss how the UK can continue to attract further high quality foreign direct investment, and to hear from industry leaders as they share their success stories.