Knowledge & Insight

UK leads the way in attracting Foreign Direct Investment

Wed 6 August 2014

A new report by UK Trade & Investment has revealed that the UK remains the number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in Europe. There are a number of factors driving this performance, not least of which is the UK’s strong economic performance vis-à-vis the rest of Europe. Also, in an increasingly unpredictable global landscape, the UK’s stable political structure, together with our business-friendly commercial environment, make it a relative safe haven for investors seeking to minimise risk.

Regional impact of FDI

Every nation within the UK has experienced strong growth in foreign direct investment, and unlike recent experience in many other sectors, it’s not London that leads the way. Although the capital saw growth in FDI of 11%, this lagged some way behind Wales at 18% and Northern Ireland with a remarkable 32% growth. Yet the most marked contrast between the capital and the regions is not in the number of projects awarded, but in their individual impact. Projects in Wales had the

largest impact in terms of creation or safeguarding of jobs – at 132 per project, whilst in Scotland, this figure was estimated to be 87. In London this figure is just 44, so growth in FDI appears to be occurring not only where it’s most needed, but also where it can have the greatest impact.

Driving growth and safeguarding jobs

The factors driving growth in UK FDI are also being reinforced by Government action that makes it easier for overseas interests to invest in the UK, and the impact of this can be clearly seen in the 1,773 projects that last year were funded by foreign investment - initiatives that are estimated to create more than 66,000 new jobs and to safeguard many others. This is certainly good news for the whole of the UK, and the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors have benefited more than most.

Investment in infrastructure

As the Government has unveiled a new wave of projects totalling £15bn, it’s become clear that many of the most innovative schemes look set to enhance the UK’s infrastructure. So in addition to the economic and employment boost delivered by these projects, they also bring a great many other benefits, including faster transport links, a growth in sustainable energy generation and improved digital communications.

Broad economic benefits

The boost to the UK economy has been enormous, both in terms of job creation and GDP growth. Yet the flip-side to this is that in a sector where skilled labour is already at a premium, supply cannot meet growth in demand, and a shortfall in skilled engineering and manufacturing professionals can have a significant impact on UK firms. The result is a heightening of competition for talent and greater reliance on infrastructure executive search.

Infrastructure executive search

In such a competitive marketplace, firms are increasingly turning to specialist infrastructure headhunters to help them identify and attract the talent they need to thrive and grow. Stone Executive is an experienced infrastructure executive search firm with a proven track-record in meeting the most challenging of briefs. Our seasoned consultants are experts in infrastructure executive recruitment, boasting a professional network that spans global giants, niche operators and some of the brightest talent in the sector.

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