Foreign investment projects at record high

EY’s global investment monitor showed the number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects into Scotland in 2015 increased to 119 investments, an increase of 51% on 2014.

Employment generated though Scotland’s FDI in 2015 rose to 5,385 jobs, an increase of 52% on the previous year.

EY — formerly Ernst & Young — said the FDI performance demonstrated “in no uncertain terms that Scotland is a commanding economic force within the UK and beyond.”

The 2015 total of 119 FDI projects is the highest number secured by Scotland since the EY database began in 1997.

Scotland’s previous high point was 88 investments in 1997.

Scotland has now overtaken the south east of England as the UK’s second biggest area for FDI projects after London.

Mark Harvey, EY senior partner, Scotland, said: “This data proves that Scotland has been resilient in managing to weather the oil and gas price volatility storm whilst also being able to flourish in other sectors.

“Business services, software, scientific research and food sectors offer strength and diversity for Scotland.

“Scotland’s perceived attractiveness for foreign investors remains at a reassuring level …

“The UK’s agenda to devolve power has resonated positively with investors who are helping to rebalance economic activity across the country.

“However, awareness of UK devolution appears to be limited, and knowledge of regional changes could bring further benefits.

“Growth in regional economies and the latest FDI figures should not be taken for granted.

“Now is not the time for Scotland to rest on its laurels.

“Regional performance is also increasing across European countries, posing greater competition for Scotland and the UK.

“Continued improvements to infrastructure and skills development will be necessary in order for Scotland to attract more inward investment in the future.”