Press release

UK attracts highest levels of inward investment on record

The UK has attracted the most inward investment projects since records began in the 1980s.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

  • foreign investment projects create highest number of new UK jobs since 2001
  • Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow starts this week (22 July 2014)

The UK has attracted the most inward investment projects since records began in the 1980s.

Annual investment figures from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for 2013 to 2014 show that the UK attracted 14% more projects than last year (2012 to 2013). This is supported by external independent sources, such as EY, who have confirmed that the UK remains the number 1 destination in Europe for foreign direct investment projects.

The UKTI inward investment report also shows 66,390 new jobs were created, the highest since 2001. In total 1,773 investment projects were set up by foreign businesses in the UK during the 2013 to 2014 financial year. In Scotland, there were 122 projects creating 5,374 new jobs.

Since 2010, UKTI has recorded 6,172 inward investment projects which are estimated to have created more than 220,000 jobs. Over the same period UKTI has recorded 412 projects in Scotland creating almost 21,000 new jobs.

The announcement was made ahead of the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow this Tuesday (22 July 2014) and Wednesday (23 July 2014) which will showcase to the world’s business and political leaders all that the UK has to offer.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the announcement. He said:

Part of our long-term economic plan for the UK is about promoting every part of our country to the world and Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games will give us another fantastic platform to do this.

I promise this government will continue to work on behalf of every hardworking business in the UK to drum up trade, encourage investment and pave the way for growth so we can generate jobs, pay our way in the world, and create stability, security and a brighter future for our country.

The report shows that the benefits are spread throughout the UK with England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London all recording increases in the number of investment projects landing and new jobs created.

Northern Ireland in particular recorded a significant increase in investment projects compared to 2012 to 2013 – 32% – while Wales registered an 18% increase in the number of investments and Scotland received a 10% boost.

Individual investments in Wales and Scotland, on average, had the largest impact in terms of creation or safeguarding of jobs (132 and 87 jobs per project respectively). Each investment in Northern Ireland is associated with 77 jobs, while projects landing in London are estimated to have created or safeguarded on average 44 jobs per project.

The number of investment projects landing in England (excluding London) also increased by 11%, reaching 840 projects.

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:

It’s been an exceptional year for foreign investment with record project numbers creating the highest number of new UK jobs since 2001.

This excellent performance demonstrates the effectiveness of the government’s plans to deliver growth.

It shows that our strategy to attract investors to the UK by creating one of the most business-friendly environments in the world is the right one and it is proof that foreign investors have confidence in the UK as the best place to do business.

The UK continues to attract high quality investment from around the globe both from our established economic partners in Europe, North America and Japan but also from key growing markets such as India and China.

The USA led the way as the largest source of FDI projects for the UK, generating 501 projects, up 27%. The top Commonwealth country for FDI is Canada. Canadian investment reached new heights in 2013 to 2014, with 89 projects, up an encouraging 41%.

European companies also demonstrated increased interest in the UK. The 2 largest European contributors were France and Germany, both delivering over 100 projects, representing rises of 18% and 31% respectively.

Through the Industrial Strategy the government is working in partnership with industry to set out and deliver long-term plans to secure jobs and growth.

The highest numbers of projects were in sectors central to the Industrial Strategy including the advanced manufacturing industry group with 418 projects creating a total of 37,204 jobs.

Notes to editors:

1.View the UKTI Inward Investment Annual Report for 2013/14

2.UKTI 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 by UKTI are different from those reported by external organisations, such as EY and FT, who track FDI project flows mostly based on investment announcements.

3.UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.

4.The Commonwealth Games Business Conference will take place before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It’s being organised jointly with the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise and will be held at the University of Glasgow. The event is delivered in partnership with EY.

5.Top 10 countries investing into the UK:

Country Projects
United States 501
Japan 116
France 110
Germany 102
Canada 89
China 88
India 74
Italy 70
Australia 69
Ireland 55

6.Projects and total jobs (new and safeguarded) by industry groups:

Industry group Projects Total jobs
Advanced manufacturing 418 37,204
Energy and infrastructure 310 31,261
Financial and professional services 385 21,661
Creative industries and ICT 400 12,466
Life sciences 156 4,473
Electronics and telecoms 104 4,296
Grand total 1,773 111,361

7.Japan was the key investment partner in the Asia Pacific region, delivering 116 projects across a variety of sectors. China too showed commitment to the UK economy, with 88 projects.

8.During 2013 to 2014 investments from emerging markets have shown continued growth. Turkey, Poland, South Africa, UAE, Brazil and Mexico are all markets which have demonstrated a year-on-year increase in investment into the UK.

9.UKTI realises the huge potential that exists in emerging markets, and continues to focus on these markets to support future growth. During 2013 to 2014 UKTI expanded its operations in 4 key emerging markets through new, innovative public-private partnerships, increasing the total number of countries where UKTI operates from 34 to 51.

10.The data published by UKTI bears out trends reported by independent reports including those published by EY, Financial Times and UNCTAD, whose figures all showed the UK enjoyed a strong year for inward investment in 2013.

11.There were 3 main types of investment: new investment (820), expansions (677) and mergers and acquisitions (276). Job figures are estimates at the start of investment project.

Published 20 July 2014