Foreign direct investment brings 7,500 jobs boost to Scottish economy

Thousands of jobs had been created or secured after overseas businesses invested in more than 100 Scottish projects over the past year.
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Scottish Development International (SDI) statistics reveal that more than 7,500 planned jobs have been generated by inward investment in the 2021/22 financial year, with 113 investment projects in Scotland supported - 39 of which were investors locating in the country for the first time.

The figures, which combine inward investment projects supported by SDI, Scottish Enterprise and its sister agencies Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, were announced by business minister Ivan McKee at the 2022 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Edinburgh.

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Key findings from SDI’s latest figures include that a total of 7,780 jobs were created or safeguarded through inward investment in the past year. Of these jobs, 98 per cent are classed as real living wage (an annual salary of at least £19,305 based on a 37.5-hour week).

The most predominant sectors for inward investment were software and IT and energy transition. More than 90 per cent of the inward investment results are in the nine opportunity areas identified in the Scottish Government’s inward investment plan.

Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “These are exceptional results and show Scotland continues to be an extremely attractive place for firms to invest, locate and grow.

“To secure more than 7,500 planned real living wage jobs is a fantastic achievement. It also underlines the attractiveness of our commitment to a values-led approach to inward investment, focused on our areas of strength.

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“Scotland’s incredible workforce, competitive cost base, world-class universities, supportive business environment, natural resources and unparalleled quality of life is what makes global companies want to locate here.”

Scottish Government business minister Ivan McKee has welcomed the latest figures.Scottish Government business minister Ivan McKee has welcomed the latest figures.
Scottish Government business minister Ivan McKee has welcomed the latest figures.

Among the projects, German-based Apcoa Parking established a new processing centre in Dingwall, creating more than 30 jobs in customer service, supervisory and managerial positions.

New contracts for Capgemini, meanwhile, have continued to create jobs in its Highland delivery centres, which now employ more than 800 people.

Martin Johnson, Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s director of strategy and regional economy, said: “Investment over the years in communication, infrastructure and connectivity has enhanced the status of the Highlands and Islands as a globally competitive region, attractive to inward investors from around the world.

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“Some of the most recent projects we have been involved in clearly demonstrate the region’s increasing appeal as a place to live, work, study and invest, which in turn helps Scotland to attract more foreign direct investment.”

McKee said: “Inward investors constitute 3 per cent of Scotland’s businesses, but they are responsible for over a third of employment and around half of turnover. They also bring wider spillover benefits to the Scottish economy including strengthening local supply chains, increasing productivity, and building expertise.

“Given the challenges of the past two years, it is encouraging that Scotland has continued its strong performance in attracting foreign direct investment.

“Over 90 per cent of the projects sit within the nine opportunity areas identified in our inward investment plan - which include energy transition, software and IT, the space sector, health-tech and digital business services.”