Scotland business

Scotland leads UK in attracting foreign investors

Amazon parcels ready for dispatch
Image caption Amazon was one major company that invested in Scotland last year

Scotland is attracting double its per capita share of foreign investment, according to new figures.

Scottish Development International (SDI), which promotes the nation's investment opportunities overseas, said Scotland won 19% of UK inward investment projects last year.

It was citing independent research from Ernst and Young.

European Union reports also show the UK is ahead of any other EU member in attracting such investment.

SDI is jointly controlled by the Scottish government and development agencies Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Anne MacColl, its new chief executive, cited Amazon, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Barclays Bank, Blackrock investments and Gamesa, the Spanish wind turbine maker, as the bigger companies attracted to invest in Scotland in the past year.

The agency claimed it secured more than £600m in planned inward investment, creating or safeguarding 9,300 jobs.

'Internationally ambitious'

Of those, 2,000 positions were classified as high-value, which means they required highly skilled workers or had salaries of more than £31,000.

SDI said 950 companies seen as having high growth potential were given support to look abroad for business opportunities - including help with attending exhibitions and trade missions - with a projected £313m in resulting sales.

Ms MacColl said the figures "illustrate not only that there is growing international confidence in the UK in terms of the overall number of jobs attracted through foreign direct investment, but also that our home-grown companies are becoming ever more internationally ambitious".

Business minister Fergus Ewing said: "These results illustrate why Scotland was the most successful region in the UK in terms of the overall number of jobs attracted through foreign direct investment last year".

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