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Scotland is yet again the UK's most successful location for FDI outside London, reports the EY’s Attractiveness Survey 2018.

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Scotland remains the UK's most attractive location for foreign direct investment outside of London, according to EY’s Attractiveness Survey, Scotland, 2018. Most impressively, FDI growth rate in Scotland is higher than across the UK as a whole, while the number of FDI projects have increased. 

Scotland has firmly established itself as a key location for foreign investment, highlighting:

• An increasing share of Scotland’s UK FDI
• The highest number of HQs in Scotland for a decade
• A 70% rise in R&D projects, proving Scotland has a leading edge in science and technology
• FDI job creation up by a massive 104% – reflecting a shift towards larger scale projects 
• Growth of the business services sector, while the UK’s has shrunk
• A 56% increase in Digital FDI projects, the second largest sector for Scotland 
• Manufacturing FDI projects increased by 25%

The survey is designed to examine the evolving performance and perceptions of Scotland as a destination for foreign investment. Highlighting a continuing trend, the survey shows that Scotland remains a prime location for international companies considering foreign expansion. 

How we're helping to attract FDI in Scotland

  • We’re working collaboratively with public, private and academic partners to capitalise on Scotland’s competitive advantage
  • And to increase our global reach through global network of offices, hubs and ambassadors.
  • Our inward investment activity is more focussed on companies where we see more likelihood of success. 

Scotland continues to attract record numbers of inward investment projects

The results also illustrate that Scotland continues to attract record numbers of inward investment projects. FDI is hugely important to Scotland and it remains a vital source of capability, economic activity and jobs. Scotland's ability to attract FDI proves that its assets continue to shine through on a global scale.

Companies from across the world view Scotland as a great location to invest, according to the survey. FDI projects rose by 7% again last year, with international investors attributing a number of strengths that give Scotland the edge over other UK and foreign investors.

US, Norway and France lead the way in investment in Scotland

A talented workforce, diverse local businesses and suppliers, together with technology, transport and telecommunications are just some of the huge draws for international companies that make Scotland such a great choice. The survey also found that the US, Norway and France lead the way in investment in Scotland.

As if this wasn’t enough, the survey also revealed that Scotland has also retained its position as the number one place in the UK for R&D projects. Last year, Scotland secured 24% of all R&D projects coming into the UK, a massive 70% year-on-year increase.

Paul Lewis, Managing Director of Scottish Development International said:

“This survey illustrates that Scotland is now firmly established as a location of choice for global investors. To be the number one UK location for R&D investment and the number one UK FDI location behind London generally is a tremendous achievement”.

He summed up: “Now is the time for a collaborative approach to accelerate international growth. The new global brand campaign, Scotland is Now, has been a significant development for us; representing a confident, consistent and bold approach to build a positive and meaningful story and brand for Scotland.” 

Interested in investing in Scotland?

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View the full report