Edinburgh is third most attractive city in UK for overseas investment

Edinburgh is an attractive proposition for foreign investors.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Edinburgh is an attractive proposition for foreign investors. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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EDINBURGH has the most ­foreign direct investment ­outside of London and ­Manchester, new figures reveal.

Scotland itself saw a 7 per cent rise in foreign direct ­investment (FDI) projects in 2017.

EY’s Attractiveness Survey shows the country has retained its “premier position” because of an FDI growth rate higher than the UK as a whole.

Analysis of FDI projects ­during 2017 shows the city was the third top performing ­location in the UK outside the big two. Glasgow and Aberdeen took sixth and eighth place.

Scotland secured 24 per cent of research and development projects coming into the UK – a 70 per cent year-on-year increase.

Paul Lewis, managing ­director of Scottish Development ­International, said: “This ­survey illustrates that Scotland is now firmly established as a location of choice for global investors.

“To be the number one UK location for R&D ­investment and the number one UK FDI ­location behind London generally is a tremendous achievement.”

The report found there was a 104 per cent increase in FDI job creation in Scotland, ­reflecting a shift towards larger projects. There was also a 56 per cent increase in digital FDI projects, making this ­Scotland’s second largest sector after ­business services.

A 25 per cent increase in manufacturing FDI projects was also reported.

Scotland’s attractiveness has held steady, according to the study, while London’s has ­decreased. The top five ­countries investing in Scotland were the US (36 projects), ­Norway (10), France (nine), Ireland (seven) and ­China (six).

Mr Lewis added: “In recent years, our inward investment activity has become more ­focussed, targeting our resources on those areas of opportunity and companies where we see more likelihood of success.

“It’s great to see that these efforts have paid off and we’re starting to make inroads in ­areas like digital and high value R&D projects, and increasing investment from markets like China.” Murdo Fraser, Scottish ­Conservatives finance ­spokesman, said: “As soon as the Brexit vote ­happened the SNP tried to ­create the ­impression it would be catastrophic for Scotland’s economy. ­

“Instead, Scotland appears to have ­become more attractive.”