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The latest Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey, which is widely recognised as the one of the most comprehensive data sets for foreign direct investment across Europe, has once again reinforced Scotland’s position as the top region in the UK outside London for foreign direct investment.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has proved challenging in recent years. With unprecedented competition, Scotland has undoubtedly sharpened its focus on not only maintaining but continuing to build on its reputation as a world class investment location.

Despite this challenging environment, Scotland achieved near record levels of FDI last year with an 8% increase on the previous year.

The 82 projects we secured came from a wide range of sectors and global locations. From Indian investor Wipro and Hutchison Whampoa in the Far East to French giant Teleperformance and CGI in Canada, collectively the projects have helped secure an additional 4,165 planned new jobs for Scotland. 


represents an unprecedented opportunity to boost Scotland’s international profile through the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Year of Homecoming.

The proportion of R&D projects in Scotland was in fact well ahead of the overall UK figure, a point that the E&Y report acknowledges as lending “credence to the view that Scotland punches above its weight in science and technology.”

With Scotland’s rich history for innovation, coupled with our world class universities, leading industry strengths and supportive business environment, the global investors are being increasingly drawn to Scotland to invest and conduct their highly prized R&D activities.

As to where the investment is coming from, the United States remains Scotland’s biggest source of FDI, accounting for 39.5% of all projects, and we’ve been more successful in securing French, Norwegian, Swedish, Canadian and Irish investments.

Thanks to our supportive network and Team Scotland approach with colleagues in Highlands and Islands Enterprise for example, investors continue to benefit from a joined up collaborative public sector and we continue to nurture and enjoy investment from existing investors. However, looking ahead, whilst continuing to support our existing investors, we are absolutely focused on driving even more success for Scotland from emerging economies and investors alike through our deep understanding of Scotland’s international competitiveness in specific sub-sectors and where these align with market opportunities.

That’s why we continue to increase our resources and have in recent years grown our network of offices to 27 worldwide including those in fast growing regions such as Brazil, Africa and the Middle East.

I’d echo the comments from E&Y’s John Bishop that we absolutely must continue to increase our efforts to sell Scotland to the world if we are to maintain our impressive track record of securing FDI – now isn’t the time for complacency.

2014 represents an unprecedented opportunity to boost Scotland’s international profile through the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Year of Homecoming and Scottish Development International’s unstinting focus on the very best opportunities for investment and sustainable economic growth will continue to reap dividends for Scotland’s economy.

Why invest in Scotland?

Download the full E&Y Attractiveness Survey (PDF, 1.4Mb)