Press release

UK wins a record number of investment projects and maintains position as top investment destination in Europe

The UK has maintained its position as the number one destination for FDI in Europe after attracting a record number of FDI projects, bringing in the largest financial value and associated jobs over the past year.

  • 2014-15 foreign direct investment (FDI) has resulted in over 100,000 new and safeguarded jobs in the UK
  • Attractiveness of UK as an investment destination confirmed as UK’s FDI stock reaches £1 trillion
  • The UK received the highest number and value of FDI projects in Europe in 2014

The annual investment figures from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) for the 2014/15 financial year show the UK attracted 1,988 FDI projects - 12 per cent more than 2013/14 – estimated to have brought with them almost 85,000 new jobs and 23,000 safeguarded jobs across the UK.

The UK’s strong performance during 2014 has seen the country’s inward FDI stock – the value of accumulated FDI in the UK – break the £1 trillion level for the first time. This is the highest in Europe and third in the world after the United States and China.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

The scale of foreign investment is a huge success story which shows that Britain is the place to do business and is more evidence that our long term economic plan is working. Securing investment from overseas is a key part of our One Nation policies to create thousands of jobs, provide security and opportunities for working people throughout the UK.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Maude said:

2014 was an exceptional year for UK inward investment and we are proud to be bucking the global trend. The UK is a great place for entrepreneurs and corporations to put their energy, their ideas, their money and their talents to work. The Government will continue to work hard to attract investment from across the globe to further strengthen the UK economy.

UKTI statistics show that FDI into the UK came from more than 70 countries, including the world’s leading emerging markets.

The USA remains the largest source of inward investment, with a total of 564 projects in 2014/15, followed by France (124 projects).

Investment from India increased by 65 per cent making it the UK’s third largest source of FDI accounting for over 9,000 new and safeguarded jobs.

There was also evidence of a strengthening relationship with China with 112 projects, including 13 from Hong Kong, in 2014/15 resulting in almost 6,000 new and safeguarded jobs.

David Cameron and Lord Maude will today travel to Milan to meet with UK and international businesses at Milan Expo 2015.

The Expo is a significant opportunity for British business, bringing the world’s business and tourism audience to their doorstep.

UKTI is delivering a Global Business Programme to support UK companies and bring £1 billion in economic benefit to the UK over time.

Examples of investment into the UK include:

  • Leading international suppliers of offshore wind foundations EEW SPC (Germany) and Bladt Industries (Denmark) invested up to £30 million to acquire and upgrade the former TAG Energy facility in Teeside, North East England. The facility will become part of the European manufacturing base for the firms and is envisaged to create 350 direct jobs in the area, as well as a significant number of jobs in the local supply chain.

  • Skoolbo – a Singaporean e-learning programme that helps children with reading and maths – invested £300,000 to bring its business to the UK. The company has recruited six staff members and its programme has been adopted by 20% of the UK’s primary schools.

In order to strengthen these key global relationships, the Minister for Trade and Investment has also today announced the date for the fifth GREAT Global Investment Conference, which will take place in London on 17 September this year.

The Conference will bring together global corporate leaders and other investment stakeholders to discuss how the UK can continue to attract further high quality foreign direct investment, and to hear from industry leaders as they share their success stories.

Notes to editors:

The full UKTI Inward Investment Report can be found here: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukti-inward-investment-report-2014-to-2015

The top 20 countries investing into the UK are as follows:

Countries Projects Total Jobs (new and safeguarded)
United States 564 36,778
France 124 8,198
India 122 9,350
China (inc. HK) 112 5,927
Japan 107 3,873
Germany 97 9,727
Italy 91 2,193
Australia 81 4,012
Canada 72 3,762
Spain 59 3,646
Netherlands 53 2,509
Ireland 51 2,369
Switzerland 42 1,489
Sweden 36 1,382
Israel 26 709
Denmark 24 2,015
Singapore 23 338
Portugal 22 522
South Korea 22 522
Norway 21 440

Source: UKTI

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. These external organisations report on calendar year, while UKTI stats are for financial year.

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. gov.uk/ukti.