Britain: Europe's top attraction for investors

A competitive tax system and flexible labour markets said to be bringing in overseas money

The UK remains the most attractive destination in Europe for foreign business investment, winning almost 1,800 new projects in the past year – the highest since records began in the 1980s, according to official figures released today.

Lord Ian Livingston, the Trade minister, said it had been an "exceptional year for foreign investment", which had created 66,390 new jobs, the highest number since 2001.

"It shows that our strategy to attract investors to the UK by creating one of the most business-friendly environments in the world is the right one, and it is proof that foreign investors have confidence in the UK as the best place to do business," Lord Livingston said.

The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) figures show that the UK attracted 14 per cent more inward investment projects in 2013/14 than in the previous year. Northern Ireland received the highest individual investment, a 32 per cent increase. The United States led the rush to invest in Britain with 501 projects in the UK, followed by Japan and France. The figures also depict the growing importance of India and China which invested in 74 and 88 projects respectively.

"Investment in Britain is flying high," said John Cridland, the director-general of the CBI. "The UK is a very strong brand overseas, and this is an engine for providing the growth and jobs we need to drive forward a healthy and sustainable recovery."

Advanced manufacturing industry benefited the most from foreign investment, gaining more than 400 new projects and creating 37,204 jobs in the UK.

Lee Hopley, the chief economist at the manufacturers' organisation EEF, said: "Manufacturing has played a starring role in driving up inward investment and this serves to reinforce the vital need to continue building supply-chain capacity, and encourage investment in technologies."

Ms Hopley said that the UK's competitive tax system and flexible labour markets were reasons for the UK continuing "to punch above its weight in attracting overseas investment".

"Reforms to improve the competitiveness of the tax system coupled with our ability to capitalise on strengths, such as the science base and flexible labour markets, [had] propelled the UK up the rankings for investors around the world."

Yet Ms Hopley warned that the UK must not become complacent: "We must keep raising our game to lock in long-term growth by investing more in skills and innovation, and driving business costs down."

The Prime Minister David Cameron promised that the Government would "continue to work on behalf of every hardworking business in the UK to drum up trade, encourage investment, and pave the way for growth so we can generate jobs, pay our way in the world, and create stability, security and a brighter future for our country."

Businesses and political leaders from around the world will be presented with more investment opportunities at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow this week.

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits