West Mids attracts record foreign investment - EY

Marco Green
May 23, 2017

A total of 1,144 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects were agreed in the United Kingdom previous year, an increase of 7 per cent on 2015.

Across the West Midlands strong growth was seen in 2016 from the financial and business services sector which secured 23 projects - 20 per cent of the total number.

On an individual country basis, the United States was the biggest investor in the West Midlands with 23 projects, followed by Germany with 21.

Overall Scotland has continued to attract record numbers of inward investment, with the total number FDI projects in 2016 exceeding the previous ten-year high set in 2015.

YORKSHIRE attracted its highest level of inward investment in nearly two decades past year, according to new research.

London remained the UK's dominant location for FDI, followed by Scotland, which maintained its second place.

FDI into business services rose 47 per cent in 2016 with the UK, Germany, France and Spain driving most activity.

There has been a notable change in the fourth and fifth largest investors in Scotland with Ireland taking the former as a result of a 200% increase.

EY warned that global investors had mixed views when asked about the future attractiveness of the UK.

But the outlook for the coming three years appears cloudier, with 31% of investors predicting that the UK's attractiveness for FDI deals could decline. Both figures are significantly worse than recorded long-term averages of 53% and 8% respectively.

Since March 2016 the share of investors with a negative view of the UK's medium term prospects for FDI have nearly doubled.

Asian investors have a particularly positive view of the United Kingdom, with 30 per cent saying they intend to invest in the next 12 months, followed by Western Europe (24 per cent) and North America (21 per cent).

Economy secretary Keith Brown, welcomed the FDI figures for Scotland.

There were 122 foreign direct investment deals done over the course of a year ago, up from 119 in 2015.

In 2016, the majority of United Kingdom regions saw an increase in projects, with just four seeing a decline when compared with the previous year: Wales, the North East, North West and South West.

Britain's departure from the European Union could cast a shadow over its status as Europe's top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), a report has warned.

"Today's attractiveness survey indicates these assets continue to be recognised on the world stage, with a substantial number of projects from the US, France and Germany".

The figure was the largest number of projects made in the United Kingdom since records began in 1997 and secured the country's position as the most popular location in Europe for global investment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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