Country 'punches above its weight'

Scotland favoured as location for overseas investors

John SwinneyScotland has confirmed its position as the top location in the UK outside London for attracting foreign money.

The number of investments fell from 82 to 80 last year though it was Scotland’s third highest annual total on record, according to data compiled by Ernst & Young.

Scotland attracted more scientific projects for a decade and saw financial services bounce back from the troubled years. Five projects from the financial sector represented the highest level Scotland has secured from the sector since 2006.

Manufacturing projects were the most important type of inward investment in Scotland, rising from 15 to 31. This was led by machinery and equipment projects – 15 projects in 2014, more than double the level in 2013.

However, the number of jobs created fell by 15% so that 2014 was the lowest figure for jobs since 2009, and represents the third consecutive annual decline, from a peak of 5,926 jobs in 2011.

Last year was Scotland’s most successful year in the past decade for attracting US investments, with 37 investments originating from the US, well above the historical trend.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Scotland is punching above its economic weight, with the EY Attractiveness Survey showing we continue to be the most successful part of the UK outside London in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.

“This is not just a positive year for Scotland but a continuation of a pattern of competitive excellence – over the last ten years Scotland has secured over 37,000 jobs from FDI, a narrow second only to London and well ahead of all other parts of the UK.”

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has an outstanding international reputation as these results once again show.

“We will use this platform to further exploit Scotland to attract greater levels of investment from around the world and ensure more Scottish companies are realising the benefits of internationalisation.”

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