FDI in Scotland hits 15-year high

Foreign investment in Scotland hit a 15-year high in 2012, according to an annual survey.

The number of projects involving foreign direct investment (FDI) rose by 49% last year to 76, an Ernst and Young study has revealed. This compared to a 3% rise in projects coming in to the UK as a whole, allowing Scotland to increase its market share of all UK FDI projects by almost 3.5%, to 10.9%.

According to the report, the figures showed Scotland continued "to punch above its weight" in an increasingly competitive global market. Manufacturing took the lion’s share of investment, while the sector accounted for only 17% of projects generated in the UK as a whole. The report noted that while Scotland had also been successful in securing French, Norwegian and Swedish investment, it had not kept pace with the rest of the UK in attracting investment from emerging economies.

Jim Bishop, Ernst and Young Scotland Senior Partner, said: “There is much to be positive about but Scotland cannot rest on its laurels. We are still more reliant on the US as a long-standing lead investor than the rest of the UK but lagging behind in investments from growing economies such as India and China.”

"The country is performing well, but there's always room for improvement."

Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney said the country has shown “clear” success at securing inward investment. Scotland is ranked number one for inward investment projects outside London, up from number two last year. The country’s close links with the rest of the UK - thanks to the single market and regulatory regime - was found to be a big lure for international firms.

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