LAST year was a record breaking year of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Scotland, according to the latest annual survey published this week by Ernst and Young.
The 2016 EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey showed that Scotland has retained its position as the top location in the UK outside London for foreign direct investment (FDI), and highlights a record level of investment projects won by Scotland.
Figures showed that total FDI projects were up by 51 per cent and job creation up 52 per cent in 2015.
Among the overseas companies investing large sums in Scotland was Marine Harvest. The salmon farmer was listed the fifth largest job creator, with 260 jobs and a £260 million investment in Fife, where it has a processing operation.
It was also a record year for Scotland in attracting R&D inward investment; with 23 individual projects, up from 17 in 2014. Scotland is now the top UK region for R&D projects.
Notably, Scotland’s share of FDI projects within the UK is also on the increase; in 2015 Scotland won 11.2 per cent of all FDI projects into the UK, up from 5.9 per cent in 2005.
In terms of projects secured, Scotland has three cities represented in the UK top 10, with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen featuring in third, sixth and tenth place respectively.
In terms of geographical source of FDI projects, the top five countries investing in Scotland in 2015 were the US (43 projects/36 per cent), France (14 projects/12 per cent), Germany (eight projects/seven per cent), Norway (six projects/ five per cent) and Canada (five projects/four per cent).
Scotland does significantly better than the UK as a whole at securing Scandinavian investment: Norway, Sweden and Denmark all rank in Scotland’s top 10 origins of investment, but do not feature in the UK’s top 10.
While the US continues to be Scotland’s primary investor, neither China nor India are in the top 10, despite being the third and fifth biggest sources of investment respectively for the UK as a whole.
UK government minister Andrew Dunlop said the figures demonstrated ‘a huge amount of confidence in Scotland’.
‘The country has put the uncertainty of the independence referendum behind it, and it is great news that major international companies are responding to that stability by investing in Scotland, ’ he said.