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Our latest annual report shows that Scotland remains a destination of choice for foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.

Glasgow, Scotland

Inward investment to Scotland secured 7839 jobs in 2016/17 - an increase of 10% on the previous year.

Our 2016/17 annual results confirm that Scotland remains a location of choice for inward investors, reaffirming the findings of the recent 2017 EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey which ranked Scotland as the most attractive UK location for FDI, outside London.

Our annual results

  • 7839 jobs secured in Scotland
  • 10% increase in jobs secured
  • USA biggest source of inward investment
  • 31 research, design and development projects

Key highlights from our 2016/17 results include:

  • A global destination: The USA, England and Norway were our biggest sources of inward investment
  • A range of strengths: Technology and advanced engineering (TAE), oil and gas and financial & business services were our top sectors for inward investment
  • A commitment to innovation: 31 projects were classed as research, design and development (RD&D)

Neil Francis, our operations director, said:

"Our strong inward investment results indicate that Scotland’s capabilities in growth sectors such as financial and business services, technology and oil and gas are world-leading and that these sectors remain extremely attractive to international audiences.

"I’m particularly pleased to see investment successes from China and India, as this reflects our increased focus on developing relationships in these markets."

Why is Scotland so attractive?


The first Chinese games company to invest in Scotland, Michael Boniface of Skymoons described the opening of the firm's Edinburgh office as a "game changer."

Skymoons in Edinburgh


The opening of a laboratory at University of Glasgow's new Imaging Centre of Excellence at Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth University Hospital made Clinnovate the first life sciences company from Singapore to invest in Scotland.

Clinnovate in Glasgow
Clinnovate in Glasgow

Clinnovate in Glasgow

Red Rock

The strength of Scotland's growing renewable energy sector made Edinburgh a natural destination for the Chinese company, a subsidiary of the State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC).

Red Rock in Edinburgh


The availability of multi-lingual talent made Glasgow the right choice for the US sales and marketing solutions provider.

Televerde in Glasgow

Computershare to create Edinburgh Centre of Excellence

The launch of our annual results coincided with the announcement that Australian financial services company Computershare is to open a technology Centre of Excellence in Edinburgh.

The new centre, supported by £2 million funding from our partners, Scottish Enterprise, will see Computershare recruit 300 employees over the next three to four years.

Explaining why Computershare chose Edinburgh, Stuart Irving, global president and CEO, said:

"As a truly international capital city Edinburgh has a bright future and is a natural home for a global company. As a growing business we need the skills and hard work we see on offer in this city."

Why do companies continue to choose Scotland?

EY spoke to 453 investors to the UK as part of the EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey. They found that the top four "pull" factors attracting FDI projects to Scotland are:

  • Ability and skills of local workforce
  • Transport infrastructure
  • Availability of business partners and suppliers
  • Local labour costs

EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey

  • 122 FDI projects in 2016/17 - up from 119
  • Scotland second UK FDI destination outside London
  • Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen in top ten UK cities
  • China in "top five" inward investors for first time

Our annual results confirm these findings, with the skills, connections and local supply chains Scotland offers across a range of sectors continuing to attract global investors keen to grow their businesses in a cost effective location.

Scotland offers investors a full range of support, from face-to-face advice with our local field office staff to funding and support from our enterprise agencies.

Together these factors have helped Scotland remain a leading choice for global investors. As the EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey states:

"Scotland’s attractions are still shining out brightly in an uncertain world."

Is Scotland your next destination?

If you're considering growing your business in a new location, we'd love to see how we could help.

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