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FDI Into Scotland Soars To Its Highest Ever Level In 2015

scotlandScotland saw an increase of 51 percent in the number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects secured by it in 2015 according to latest results from the Ernst & Young Scotland Attractiveness Survey. A total of 119 projects were secured last year which was the highest achieved by the country so far.

In a statement, Mark Harvey, EY senior partner in Scotland, said,

Scotland had a truly spectacular year for FDI in 2015, making some significant strides in key areas, resulting in a major step change in performance. Importantly, the majority of FDI projects for Scotland in 2015 were new rather than expansions. This ability to attract a higher proportion of new, first-time investors signals a positive future for Scotland

He added that the challenge now was not just to maintain this level but surpass it and succeed against competition. Scotland’s FDI growth bettered UK’s growth rate which was 20 percent. In terms of region-level growth, Scotland overtook the South East to land in second place after London.

The record-breaking investments also generated a significant increase in the number of jobs created within Scotland. In 2015 an estimated 5,385 jobs were created in the country, which was an increase of 52 percent. Scotland currently has a market share of 12.7% in the total UK FDI employment, which is lower than its 10-year average of 14.3 percent.

Among the sectors which received FDI, software was at the top with 19 projects, an increase of 170 percent over last year. In terms of growth rates, two other sectors did better – business services and utility supply. Business services saw a six-fold increase while utility supply witnessed a five-fold increase.

When analyzed by city, the capital city of Edinburgh saw a three-fold increase in the number of FDI projects gained in 2015. It secured 41 projects while Glasgow received 22 projects, double the projects bagged by it in 2014. Aberdeen witnessed a decline, landing only 9 projects vis-à- vis the 12 it had secured last year.

According to Harvey, the two cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow have been doing well consistently in terms of attracting foreign investment into Scotland and 2015 was the best year for them, having collectively bagged over 40 projects.

The U.S. is the primary investor in Scotland. It is interesting to note that China and India do not feature in the top 10 investors into Scotland despite being among the biggest investors in UK at an overall level.

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