FDI listing

Glasgow one of Europe’s top cities for foreign investors

Morgan Stanley Glasgow
Morgan Stanley is one of the overseas firms that invested in Glasgow

Glasgow has been ranked as one of the top cities in Europe for its strategy in attracting overseas investors.

fDi Intelligence’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2024 listing ranked the city above Antwerp (2nd), Porto (3rd) and Bilbao and Gothenburg (joint 4th) for its approach and ability to securing foreign investment.

Scotland’s biggest city came top in the large cities category, while Barcelona won the top prize as the continent’s best major city and Newcastle in the mid-sized city category.

fDi Intelligence noted Glasgow’s partnerships between Government, academia, businesses and the community and the hundreds of millions of pounds in funding secured over the past 18 months to advance the innovative sectors emerging across the city region.

The judges recognised Glasgow’s strength as a biotech and pharmaceutical hub boasting more than 200 life science companies. It has supported the growth of medtech and other areas of research through the ‘Glasgow Biocorridor’, which brings together organisations and businesses working in this space.

Investment has come from companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Merck KGaA, Planet DDS and Spire Global.

Glasgow was also ranked 5th for connectivity and 10th for business friendliness.

The rankings are based on the performance of 330 European cities. The ‘Large Cities’ category includes those cities with a population of over 500,000 and a wider urban region of over one million.

Glasgow has improved its performance in all three categories in comparison to 2023, when it was ranked 3rd for strategy, 6th for connectivity and outside the top 10 for business-friendliness.

The news has been welcomed by City Council, business and university leaders, who said the accolade was testament to the hard work by all partners in attracting investment, which was already improving the global reputation of the city.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see this recognition of the impact of the City Government’s economic policies, which have transformed Glasgow’s approach to inward investment and put us in the top rank of European cities to attract high quality jobs and generate growth all our citizens can share in.

Susan Aitken Glasgow City Council
Susan Aitken: transforming Glasgow’s approach (pic: Terry Murden)

“Recent years have seen the emergence of really significant sectors in tech, the green economy, the space industry, the creative economy, and advanced manufacturing – and these will all help to drive Glasgow’s future growth and high skilled jobs.”

A new investment strategy for Glasgow was launched in the Autumn of 2023, responding to the changes in the investment landscape, impacted by Brexit and the pandemic. 

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said: “Glasgow has a strong track record of attracting investment across a diverse discipline of sectors.

“Our global expertise in such industries as financial services, life sciences and a growing reputation in renewables has elevated our position to being one of the top cities for investors and business looking to base their operations here.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, principal & vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, added: “Glasgow City Region is the economic powerhouse of Scotland with strong sectors such as FinTech, Space Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Energy which are supported by the world-class research and graduates of the city’s universities and colleges.”

Details of the rankings can be found at: https://www.fdiintelligence.com/content/rankings-and-awards/european-cities-and-regions-of-the-future-2024-the-winners-83483

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