Scotland remains a key area for foreign investment

8 Jun 2017

The latest EY attractiveness survey was released last week, and once again it reinforced Scotland’s position as one of the top regions for foreign direct investment (FDI). The survey is designed to examine the evolving performance and perceptions of Scotland as a destination for foreign investment. This year outlined a continuing trend, and showed that Scotland remains a prime location for international companies considering overseas expansion.

The 2017 results yet again placed Scotland as the most attractive region in the UK outside of London. Scotland has firmly established itself as a key location for investment, having cemented itself in second place for each of the last five years. The results also show that Scotland is continuing 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 continued ability to attract FDI proves that our assets continue to shine through on a global scale.

Not only did last year see us exceed the previous ten-year high set in 2015, but we also ranked as the UK leader for attracting FDI for research and development projects, securing Scotland’s long tradition of innovation. Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in the software industry is also underlined in the survey. The last 12 months also saw us improve to become the second most popular region for investment in the software industry.

Part of our continued success in appealing to outside investors is due to a continued focus on developing stronger relationships with new and emerging sources, such as China. We are now beginning to see the fruits of this direction as these relationships begin to grow. Last year, for example, China did not appear in Scotland’s top ten list of investors, but this year grew to become the fifth largest originator of investments in Scotland.

As well as forming new relationships, we have not forgotten about our long-held relationships. Scotland’s primary and largest investor remains the United States of America. Over the last 12 months, the US has accounted for a massive 35% of all FDI projects in Scotland. 

It is evident through all this that Scotland punches well above its weight and remains a true heavyweight in the FDI ring. Amazingly, more than 1 in 50 FDI projects investing in the whole of Europe are choosing Scotland as their location. This robust performance – achieved amid widespread uncertainty – confirms the continuing strength of the Scottish economy’s ability to attract and secure investments.

From our excellent quality of life to relatively lower operating costs and access to a highly educated, stable workforce it makes sense for businesses to grow and expand in Scotland. Scotland is firmly established as a location of choice for global investors. You can read more about Scotland’s successes in this area, as well as checking out the full report by heading over to the Scottish Development International website.

Read more on SDI's website