Scotland is top UK ‘region’ for foreign direct investment – but could do so much better, says Scottish Independence Referendum Party

2016 was a record-breaking year of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Scotland, according to the latest annual survey into FDI attractiveness published today by Ernst and Young.

The 2017 EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey shows that Scotland has retained its position as the top location in the UK outside London for foreign direct investment (FDI), with investment projects up 2.5% on 2015.

As well as highlighting the record level of investment projects won by Scotland, the report also notes that Scotland now takes over one in 50 of all investment projects in Europe; a clear indication that Scotland is now firmly established as a location of choice for global investors.

2016 was also a strong year for Scotland in attracting research and development inward investment; with 21 individual projects, Scotland has retained its position as number one in the UK for R&D projects.

In terms of projects secured, Scotland has three cities represented in the UK top 10, with Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen featuring in fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively.

In terms of geographical source of FDI projects, the top five countries investing in Scotland in 2016 were the US (43 projects / 35%), France (14 projects / 11%), Germany (7 projects / 6%), Ireland (6 projects / 5%) and China (5 projects / 4%).

Mark R. Whittet is the leader of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party. He is standing for election to the British parliament in the Edinburgh West constituency.

Commenting on this report, he said: “These figures from Ernst & Young confirm that 2016 was a record breaking year for foreign and direct investment into Scotland. For the second year in a row, Scotland has attracted more projects than ever before – with 2016 up 2.5% on 2015’s previous record – and Scotland has been the top UK region outside London in every one of the past five years.

“The statistics not only confirm Scotland’s position as the top UK region outside London for foreign and direct investment, but highlight the underlying strengths of the Scottish economy.

“We enjoy resources few nations can match, including one of the most highly-educated workforces in Europe, a long-standing reputation for innovation and an internationally-regarded brand.

“But with Scottish Independence in the EU – which is what 2 in 3 Scots voted for – Scotland could do even better.

“Not only would Scotland continue attract high-value direct inward investment, Edinburgh would become the ‘go to’ location for US, Asian and Indian banks seeking a new financial home in the EU – instead of being evicted from the city of London along with the English Brexit.

“Already HSBC and Deutsche Bank are planning to move from London to Dublin because the Republic of Ireland is, and will remain, in the EU.

“Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party calls on Scottish First Minister to get on with the same job as us – putting Scotland’s interests first – by encouraging the potentially ‘homeless’ overseas bank in London to re-locate to Edinburgh West – which is already home to the de facto head office of the Royal Bank of Scotland.”

The full report from EY is available at

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