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Monday
Jun292009

UK leads the way for foreign investment in Europe

Five businesses from overseas start trading in the UK every day, making Britain the leading destination for world business investment in Europe, according to a report by UK Trade and Industry. In the last financial year, more than 1700 investment projects from 53 countries located to the UK.

The US was the biggest investor with 621 foreign direct investment projects, followed by India with 108.

Other countries showing big investment increases were Italy (up 45%); France (up 15%); Canada (up 25%) and The Gulf (up 25%).

More than 35,000 new jobs were created by the investment in sectors like software and IT; engineering; financial services; business services and life sciences.

The UKTI figures issued by the British government show that more than half the investment is in new projects – up 25% on the previous year.

“International trade and investment is vital to the long term economic health of the UK,” said Lord Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Business. “The results illustrate international confidence in the UK economy and the contribution of this investment will be critical to our ability to compete and succeed as a country in the future.

High-tech investment was up 18% in the year – reinforcing the fact that the UK is the world’s sixth leading manufacturer.

Companies also set up 250 European or corporate headquarters in the UK

Investors cite a low-rate corporate tax regime, a well-qualified workforce and links with the EU as reasons for moving to the UK.

London’s reputation as a world financial centre also gives a boost – and in May the world’s second largest market capitalised bank, China Construction Bank, set up a European HQ in London.

“The City of London remains fundamentally strong and attractive to overseas investors – a leading global hub for financial services and an unrivalled gateway to world markets for companies looking for a place to grow,” said Lord Davies.

The latest figures for direct investment in Europe shows Britain heads the league standing at US$1.348 billion.

 



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