Staying ahead of the game
2012 UK Attractiveness Survey
The UK retained its long-standing position at the top of European foreign direct investment (FDI) rankings, despite suffering a 7% decline in the number of inward investment projects. The UK’s sustained lead has seen it chosen as the location for one in five of all investment announcements across Europe since 2004.
However, Germany’s share rose to 15%, putting it in second place, only 2% behind the UK. If current trends continue, Germany will overtake the UK as Europe’s leading FDI destination within the next two or three years.
- Germany secured a higher share of manufacturing investment projects than the UK for the first time, and attracted twice as many FDI projects as the UK from China
- The US remains the largest investor into the UK in 2011, followed by Germany, India, France and China
- Business services, software, and machinery and equipment are the biggest sectors driving investment into the UK, while financial services is slowing down
- The top three attributes that make the UK attractive to overseas investors are: quality of life, culture and language; the stable political environment; and technology and infrastructure
- Financial services, energy and utilities and manufacturing were identified by investors
- To remain a major destination for investment, overseas companies say the UK should play to its strengths in research and development (R&D), innovation and financial services
- A more strategic approach to FDI that places inward investment within the overall economic context is required if the UK is to retain its lead in an increasingly competitive global market for FDI.
- Our special Scottish supplement looks at Scotland's performance in attracting foreign investment amongst global competition in a challenging economy.
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2012 Attractiveness Surveys