Foreign direct investment continues to drive UK economy

Inward investment into the UK has created more than 57,000 new jobs over the last 12 months, new figures have revealed.

The report, published by the Department for International Trade (DIT), comes after recent research showing a record 1,782 new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects recorded in the UK in 2018-19.

The research also revealed that despite ongoing political pressures and Brexit uncertainty, the UK retained its crown as the most attractive destination for FDI projects in Europe.

FDI is defined as an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country. The UK is particularly attractive to foreign investors – who may originate from a tightly regulated economy – due to its liberal attitude to trade, its skilled workforce and thriving growth opportunities.

In total, FDI stock in the UK was worth $1.89 trillion (£1.48 trillion) by the end of 2018 – more than Germany ($939 billion / £743 billion) and France ($825 billion / £653 billion) combined.

Likewise, there has been a 20 per cent rise – even after the 2016 EU referendum – in the number of cross-border greenfield projects – a project where foreign investors establish a new business or expand an existing one in UK territory.

On average, there were 1,428 new projects each year over 2017 and 2018, compared to 1,192 new projects each year over 2012 to 2016.

Commenting on the report, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said today’s figures show that the UK remains “extremely attractive” to foreign investors.

“Despite global economic headwinds and a competitive investment environment, the UK continues to be the number one destination for foreign direct investment in Europe, accumulating more FDI stock than Germany and France combined,” he added.

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