News story

Overseas investment into the UK at highest ever level

The UK remains a top destination for investment, with new figures showing that inward stock is at the highest level since records began.

Info-graphic showing the increase in investment into the UK was £149 billion
The value of the UK’s FDI stocks as a whole increased by £12.6% (£149 billion) to £1,337 billion in 2017.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show stocks from across Asia have increased by more than 33% in 2017 to £128 billion and stocks from Japan increased by 71% to £78 billion. The greatest growth from any country has come from Indian investors, rising 321% to £8 billion.

The figures show that investors have maintained confidence in the UK as an investment destination, with the value of the UK’s FDI stocks as a whole increasing by £12.6% to £1,337 billion in 2017 when compared with the previous year. The UK’s world-leading financial services sector attracted more FDI than any other industry, accounting for 28.8% of total inward investment, accumulating over £385 billion by the end of 2017.

And the UK’s largest investor, the US, also showed a significant increase in FDI stocks, increasing by 19.5% to £351 billion.

International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade, Dr Liam Fox MP, said:

As we prepare to leave the European Union, foreign investors from around the globe are as confident as ever investing in the UK. The significant rise in the amount of investment from Asia is evidence that the growing economies are important partners for the UK, relationships which I am committed to developing and deepening.

Foreign Direct Investment has an overwhelmingly positive and transformative effect on the UK economy, bringing jobs, prosperity and growth. My international economic department is focused on ensuring that the effects are felt in every part of the country.

Today’s figures also show that the UK’s world-leading financial services sector attracted more FDI than any other industry, accounting for 28.8% of total inward investment, accumulating over £385 billion by the end of 2017.

Supported by the Department for International Trade’s network of overseas staff, popular restaurant chain Din Tai Fung is one Asian company that has looked to the UK for its investment potential, opening the doors to its first European restaurant in London this week (Wednesday 5 December).

The business plans to create hundreds of jobs over the next year, with further expansion planned in the years to come as it opens further branches. Plans are already in place to open a second branch in Centre Point Tower, London, next year.

Further information

  • Figures regarding fastest growing countries only include countries with inwards FDI investment over £10 million.
  • Read the full Foreign direct investment involving UK companies: 2017
  • The invest.great.gov.uk site already provides a range of information to help international businesses invest in the UK. This includes details on:
    • how DIT can helps companies to build connections with businesses across their sectors in the UK
    • advice on hiring staff from recruitment through to salary benchmarking
    • unique insights into specific markets in the UK based on companies’ needs
    • information on grants and incentives to help businesses grow in the UK
    • assistance with visa applications and other immigration issues
Published 4 December 2018