Scotland is bouncing back but engagement remains key
Beneath the headline figures in this report, there are further reasons for optimism almost everywhere you look: be it the rise of nearly one-third in ‘new’ projects into Scotland; the diverse spread of sectors for Scottish FDI in 2020, with digital tech leading the way; or the fact that more than twice as many investors cited Scotland as the UK’s leading FDI destination in 2021 than in 2019.
However, this is no time for Scotland to rest on its laurels. There has never been a more important time for business to engage with both UK and Scottish Government. Today, as we begin to move beyond the pandemic, engagement remains key in shaping the right policies, business environment and incentives to give companies continued confidence to invest.
True, our findings suggest the UK and Scotland are getting a lot right. But the global market for FDI will only become more competitive, making it imperative to keep listening and responding to what investors want. This includes recognising the rising focus on sustainability and cleantech – areas where Scotland’s strength is exemplified by Glasgow’s hosting of COP26 later this year.
Whatever the challenges, there’s no denying the good news in this report. In 2020 Scotland bucked the trend at a UK and European level by attracting more projects, while consolidating its position as the UK’s most attractive FDI location outside London. In doing so, it laid down a strong base for the future FDI. Now it’s time to build on that and to capitalise on the attractiveness of our country as a place to do business.