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Scotland's record success in inward investment

2015 was a record-breaking year for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Scotland, according to the latest EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey.

Scotland retained its position as the top UK location outside London for FDI, with a record level of investment. Projects were up by 51% and job creation up 52%.

Read the full survey

Download the full EY survey (PDF, 1.7MB)

Notable growth sectors last year included software, the top performing industry, with a 170% increase. Life sciences and financial services also recorded significant activity. 

The top five countries making those record investments in Scotland in 2015 were the US, France, Germany, Norway and Canada.

Foreign investors increasingly attracted to Scotland

Commenting on the survey, Paul Lewis, Managing Director of Scottish Development International (SDI), said: “This is a tremendous achievement for Scotland in what continues to be a challenging and highly-competitive inward investment market.” 

Impressively, Scotland’s share of FDI projects within the UK is increasing. In 2015, it won 11.2% of all FDI projects into the UK, up from 5.9% in 2005, ensuring that Scotland has surged past the South East to claim second place behind London.

Scotland also secured projects in three top-10 cities in the UK, with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen featuring. Edinburgh almost trebled the number of FDI projects, whilst Glasgow's more than doubled.

Investors forge ahead with R&D projects

Last year was also a record year for Scotland in attracting R&D inward investment, with 23 individual projects. This increased from 17 in 2014, putting Scotland in the leading position for R&D projects in the UK.

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Paul Lewis welcomed the news of Scotland retaining the number one UK position outside of London, especially with Scotland almost doubling its market share of FDI in the last decade.

“Through our international network of offices, we will continue to promote Scotland as a country which is brilliantly connected for business, particularly in sectors such as technology, life-sciences and financial services. Here, we have fast-growing international-competitive clusters, and a unique ability to work collaboratively across public, private and academic sectors."

With our 29 offices in 18 countries, it’s easy to talk to us about how Scotland can help your company grow. You can also discover the help we offer, from initial enquiry, all the way to the after-investment care and support that continues long after you have set up in Scotland.

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