Investor-ready capital investment projects in Scotland to top £1 billion

Scotland is a prime destination for private capital investment in areas such as digital, low carbon transition, health and life sciences. Neil Francis, our interim Managing Director of International Development, explains why.

Written by Neil Francis

A huge amount of work has already taken place this year to promote Scotland as a global investment destination.

With our sister agencies and local partners, we have been working tirelessly both at home and overseas to highlight, support and deliver sustainable, low-carbon economic opportunities.

But we cannot do this alone.

There’s growing recognition about the importance of increasing the flow of private capital to businesses and projects in Scotland, while simultaneously improving our links with global financial centres.

Such investment not only promotes the creation of new businesses, but also helps early-stage firms realise their growth ambitions by removing a key barrier to expansion. It also increases the number of investors active in Scotland, who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge with them.

Neil Francis, interim managing director, Scottish Development International

Industry opportunities with high potential return on capital 

That’s why we warmly welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s Global Capital Investment Plan in the spring of last year.

The final pillar of the Scottish Government’s strategy to internationalise Scotland’s economy, 'Investing with Purpose: Scotland’s Global Capital Investment Plan' contains 30 actions to increase private capital accessibility.

Like Scotland’s Inward Investment Plan, ‘Investing with Purpose’ takes a targeted approach to attracting private capital investment by focusing on sectors that will drive future global growth. These are sectors where Scotland has the resources, assets, and companies to be a genuine world leader, such as:

  • Digital
  • Low carbon transition
  • Health and life sciences
  • High value manufacturing

Crucially, these sectors are also expected to deliver growth over the coming years due to global demand.

'Investing with Purpose' also signals to the market Scotland’s commitment to an open and transparent investment environment, aligned with our values that include the transition to net zero. Alongside the obvious environmental benefits such an approach will deliver, we know there’s a strong global move towards responsible Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment. This means that positioning Scotland as a global centre of ethical finance will reap economic benefits, too.

So, these are exciting times. And we are already playing a significant role in delivering the Global Capital Investment Plan’s ambitions.

Working together for economic prosperity

We are integrating capital investment activities into everything we do. Whether it’s tapping into existing company and investor relationships via our growth investments teams, or working with our inward investment specialists to explore private capital opportunities for global companies that have already chosen to locate in Scotland, our activities are fully interconnected.

All of this is helping us build an ‘investor-ready’ pipeline of opportunities that allows us to engage with external partners to ensure we maximise the greatest number of opportunities. Together, we can then present our best propositions to potential investors, creating demand for investment in the most internationalised areas of our economy.

Networks to strengthen investor relationships

Sticking with the international theme, an important aim of ‘Investing with Purpose’ is to gain a better understanding of global capital investors. And this is where the worldwide reach of our international networks will be fully deployed.

Across the world, we have powerful advocates for Scotland who promote our links with the global economy. These include our trade and investment specialists based in more than 30 locations, members of our prestigious GlobalScot network, Scotland’s trade envoys and our wider diaspora.

We are mobilising these networks to expand and strengthen our investor relations. Our global networks offer considerable skills and experience. We will tap into this expertise to gain insights, intelligence and advocacy that will build investor relations and promote investment opportunities in Scotland.

Find out more about our partners and networks

Investment opportunities in Scotland

Investment opportunities in Scotland will also be amplified at high-profile global events.

For example, the Green Investment Portfolio, which promotes market-ready projects requiring private capital that will help Scotland transition to a net zero economy by 2045, was showcased at Expo2020 in Dubai as part of our 'Race to Net Zero' programme.

At the heart of all our activities will be collaboration. We will be working closely with our local and national public sector partners, both here in Scotland and in global financial hubs such as the City of London. This will ensure we maximise our global reach and showcase Scottish investment opportunities to potential investors.

And that spirit of partnership will be evident in our relationship with the private sector, where we will work closely with the markets both here and overseas. This will ensure Scotland can secure increased levels of private sector capital to speed the development of investment opportunities.

“Together with our partners we aim to increase the value of investor-ready capital investment projects by £1 billion by the end of this year. We will also continue to strengthen our global investor relations for both company and project capital investment across key geographical markets.”

So, our message is clear: if you are looking for investment opportunities in sectors where Scotland is a world leader and you share our commitment to achieving a net zero future, then we and our partners would love to hear from you.

Together, we can deliver an investment-led recovery that delivers inclusive, sustainable economic growth that benefits all our communities.

Want to find out more about investment opportunities in Scotland? Our Capital Investment Team is ready to help.

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