Press release

UK confirmed as leading European destination for foreign direct investment

Investment figures show the UK has continued to strengthen its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment.

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Final annual investment figures released today show the UK has continued to strengthen its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment.

The UK’s 2012/13 Inward Investment Annual Report, published today by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), confirms rises in the number of projects and jobs secured compared to 2011 to 2012.

The report shows that in the last financial year:

  • the UK saw 1,559 investment projects secured – 11% more projects than the number recorded during the previous year
  • these projects are estimated to have brought with them 170,000 jobs – 51% higher than in the previous year. Of these, nearly 60,000 were new jobs and 110,000 existing jobs were safeguarded
  • UKTI and its partners were involved in delivering nearly 85% of the projects secured

These final investment figures published in the UKTI report show improvements on the preliminary results announced at the Global Investment Conference in London on 9 May.

The annual report also shows that the recorded increases are spread throughout the UK. Wales and Northern Ireland in particular have recorded significant increases in investment projects – 191% and 41% respectively – while Scotland registered a 16% increase in the number of investments. The number of FDI projects landing in England (excluding London) increased by 10% reaching 759 projects.

The investment results at the local level in England are also positive with most Local Enterprise Partnerships recording an increase in the number of investment projects in their areas.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

The UK has received a major vote of confidence from foreign investors confirming that the UK remains a world leading business destination. Attracting foreign investment is an important element of the UK Government’s economic and growth programme and UKTI will continue to work with companies to help create and sustain a globally attractive, highly competitive and truly international economy.

The data published by UKTI bears out trends reported by independent reports including those published by Ernst and Young, Financial Times and UNCTAD, whose figures all showed the UK enjoyed a strong year for inward investment in 2012 to 2013 UNCTAD, in particular, reported recently that despite global FDI inflows declining by 18%, FDI inflows into the UK have risen by 22%.

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. Investments are also made across a broad range of innovative and economically important sectors. The combination of these factors means the UK continues to be in a strong international position for attracting foreign investment.

Notes to editors:

1.UKTI’s Inward Investment Annual Report can be accessed here: http://www.ukti.gov.uk/investintheuk/investintheukhome/item/553980.html

2.Confirmation from independent sources include:

  • United Nations Council for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report of June 2013 reported the FDI flow into the UK increasing by 22% against a global decrease of 18% and a decrease in the UK of 41%
  • Ernst and Young reported the UK as the number 1 destination in Europe (679 projects)
  • Financial Times reported the UK as the number 1 destination in Europe (829 projects)

3.In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70 million for each of 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.

4.In the 2012 Autumn Statement, UKTI was awarded an additional £70 million for each of 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015, enabling the recruitment of more international trade advisers around the country, expansion of existing services including the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS), and support to expand the range of assistance available to UK companies through overseas British chambers of commerce.

5.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

6.UK Trade & 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. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.

Published 24 July 2013