Edinburgh top in foreign direct investment strategy

Edinburgh has been ranked number one in the 2016/17 “Global Cities of the Future” for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Strategy by the fDi Intelligence publication, a division of the Financial Times.

Hong Kong was second, Chicago was third and Glasgow was seventh.

fDi Intelligence said the investment department in the City of Edinburgh Council was responsible for the promotion of the city as an investment destination, and focuses on working with, and sharing knowledge with, other agencies.

It said the council regularly hosts colleagues from cities including Shenzhen and Munich, and staff in the council benefit from EU-funded staff exchange programmes.

“The city has entered into an agreement with the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen to encourage investment and broaden links between the cities,” said fDi Intelligence.

“The council has embarked upon several bilateral trade delegations, while incubator space has been set up in Edinburgh to accommodate incoming investors from Shenzhen.

“A counterpart facility has been established in China to attract and facilitate investors from Edinburgh.”

fDi Intelligence said free “soft landing” services are offered to all new investors coming into Edinburgh, which includes advice on property options, information on relocating staff and access to meeting and work spaces in the city.

It said the Invest Edinburgh website is published in French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic, as well as English.

Cllr Gavin Barrie, Edinburgh Council’s Economy Convener, said: “The city’s rapid growth in the tech sector and start-up scene and increased international reputation coupled with long-standing expertise in finance mean that Edinburgh is well positioned to attract investment.

“In the past 12 months we’ve welcomed over 25 new foreign investors to the city and this award recognises that Edinburgh is regarded as a truly global player.”

The council said Dexcom, a San Diego-headquartered continuous glucose monitoring company, recently expanded into Europe with the opening of a new product support and research and development office in Edinburgh.

Benefitting from soft landing support from Edinburgh Council’s Investor Support Team, Dexcom utilised temporary soft landing office space in the Creative Exchange while their new European HQ in the Tanfield tech hub was prepared.

John Lister, general manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Dexcom said: “The first reason we selected Edinburgh as the base for our EMEA HQ was talent.

“There is a huge talent pool in Edinburgh from a medical, commercial and technical access, which is a pull to companies looking to expand into the UK and Europe.

“Edinburgh also has a rich history of innovations in the medical field, which, we hope, Dexcom will continue to be a part of.”

The council said other recent FDI into the city includes:

  • Janssen Pharmaceutica, a provider of medicines and therapeutic solutions and a subsidiary of US-based Johnson & Johnson, has established a new centre for dementia prevention in Edinburgh. The £2.5 million centre is located in the city’s BioQuarter.
  • China-based iRes Geo Technology, an oil and gas research company, has opened a new office in Edinburgh. The office will allow the company to expand its operations both in the North Sea and globally. It will create five new jobs in 2016 with this number expected to rise to 10 in the near future.
  • Red Rock Power, a company which invests in renewable energy projects and is a subsidiary of China-based State Development and Investment, has opened a new office in Edinburgh. The office will serve as a platform to enable the company to invest further in renewable developments in Scotland.
  • Norway-based Norwegian Air Shuttle, a commercial airline, is set to open a new base in Edinburgh Airport, UK. The new base will allow the company to operate flights to the US and is expected to open in 2017.
  • US-based online retailer Amazon.com is expanding operations in Edinburgh. The company has announced plans to create 35 new jobs in its research and development facility, bringing its headcount to around 135. The new roles will include software engineers, scientists and managers.