Wednesday, 14 Jul 2010
Cover of the UK inward investment report 2009/2010
UK inward investment report 2009/10
Encouragingly, the number of expansions of existing operations rose sharply – by nearly one fifth. New projects (with no existing operation in the United Kingdom) also rose slightly. However, overall investment project numbers were down by 7 per cent compared to the previous year: the main fall was in merger and acquisition activity. Associated job numbers rose by 20 per cent.
The economic environment has been very difficult. Overall, these inward investment results are a demonstration of the United Kingdom’s resilience as a world-beating location for global investment. We are now well positioned to build a sustainable and strong economic performance over the years ahead.
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Traditional and new markets
The results also emphasise the continued importance of our traditional investment source countries such as the USA – by far our largest investor – Japan, France, Germany and others. And investment from high growth markets elsewhere – for example India and China – is strong.
A positive message and focus
The challenge is to maintain and further improve the United Kingdom’s international competitiveness for inward investment. The Government’s ambition for the United Kingdom to have the most competitive corporate tax rate in the G20, to cut regulation and to show that the United Kingdom is open for business, will be welcome news for firms seeking to use the United Kingdom as a base for their European and global expansion.
And UK Trade & Investment’s focus on promoting the United Kingdom’s leading industrial and business sectors to potential investors – for example low carbon technology, high technology engineering, aerospace, life sciences, the creative industries and knowledge-driven businesses – will continue to be strong, highly targeted and supported by highly professional staff.
Building awareness and positive perceptions of the United Kingdom as a location for successful international business growth to potential investors, intermediaries and opinion formers in key overseas markets is central to UK Trade & Investment’s work. The highly innovative British Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo is a good example. Our Expo presence provides a major opportunity to present the international business and investment benefits of partnering with the United Kingdom. There is a linked programme of business events organised around the Expo and over 1,000 business meetings designed to introduce to Chinese investors and companies the growth opportunities of doing business with the United Kingdom.
As we move towards 2012, UK Trade & Investment’s programme is well underway to maximise the international business opportunity that the Olympics will bring to the United Kingdom.
UK Trade & Investment’s role, as a Government Department working with and through public and private sector partners, is to deliver value – to the country, and the companies we serve. This imperative, as well as the need for UK Trade & Investment to stay ahead of the fierce and strengthening global competition for foreign direct investment, drives us continually to innovate and sharpen our performance across the organisation.
This means a relentless focus on finding more effective and efficient ways of delivering UK Trade & Investment services and achieving even greater return on the resources we invest in them.
Assistance from UK Trade & Investment
I am highly encouraged that in a year when the number of inward investment projects coming into the United Kingdom fell, UK Trade & Investment significantly assisted a record number – over 750, an increase of over a quarter on the previous year – with a sharp increase in the number of assisted projects classified as high value.
In introducing this report I would like to express my personal thanks to all those in UK Trade & Investment at home and overseas, those working across the wider inward investment delivery network in other Government Departments, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the regions of England, and our private sector colleagues and partners.