Press release

Foreign investors see opportunities in Wales

Welsh Secretary responds to Foreign Direct Investment figures

Flight paths

Foreign investors continue to see investment opportunities in Wales as new figures published today by the Department for International Trade showed the country attracted 85 inward investment projects in 2016-17.

This led to over 2,500 new jobs being created and nearly 9,000 safeguarded providing security and stability to thousands of families.

In another record year, the UK attracted 2,265 foreign direct investment projects which led to the creation of nearly 15,000 new jobs across the country.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

The latest set of figures demonstrate the need to seek and drive further international business investment in Wales - bringing jobs, prosperity and opportunity for communities. That is why I am fully committed to ensuring Welsh businesses are central to UK Government trade missions.

Seeking new markets and investment partners will enable us to land the major deals that will grow the Welsh economy and help to forge lucrative relationships around the world. Our departure from the EU is an opportunity to step up to our commitment to attracting inward investment - not step away from it.

Enterprises – whether large or small - can be assured that the UK Government and the Department for International Trade is ambitious for Wales and is committed to doing all it can to provide certainty and stability. We must continue to make Wales an attractive destination, matching the commitment shown by companies like Aston Martin, in securing sustained investment for the long-term.

International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, said:

Wales with its renowned pharmaceutical, life sciences and creative sector industries continues to be a draw for foreign investors who want to take advantage of the expertise this country has to offer. As an international economic department, the Department for International Trade will continue to promote the UK as a whole to potential investors and support the Business Wales to attract inward investment.

The figures published today show that the US retains the top spot accounting for 577 projects of all inward investment projects to the UK. China (including Hong Kong) remains in second place with 160 projects and last year’s third place India is joined by Australia and New Zealand in joint third place with 127 projects each.

Demonstrating the diversity of the UK’s economy, sectors that performed particularly well include technology, renewable energy, life sciences and the creative industries which all saw an increase in the number of projects.

As part of the government’s drive to attract inward investment, in January this year the department launched a major global marketing campaign – Invest in GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland – to promote the UK’s offering to international investors.

To date, the campaign has generated 1.4 million page views of the invest section of the great.gov.uk digital service and recorded over 540 prospective investor enquiries.

Notes to Editors

  • The department records wider types of inward investment projects, including mergers and acquisitions and those that are not publicly announced by foreign investors
  • Therefore, the FDI project figures reported are different from those reported by external organisations, such as EY and FT, who track FDI project flows mostly based on investment announcements
  • These external organisations report on calendar year, while the department’s statistics are for financial year
  • EY’s UK Attractiveness Survey 2017 ranked the UK first in Europe for FDI projects in total
Published 6 July 2017