According to the latest Ernst & Young commissioned report on FDI, the Northwest of England was helped largely by the huge number of FDI inflows into Merseyside to become the most suitable location to locate a business in the UK, outside of London for both foreign businesses and services companies.
In the report, the UK retained its overall position in investment attractiveness in Europe but regionally, the Northwest of England came top with its FDI projects that included the Jaguar Land Rover’s investment at Halewood for the production of low carbon vehicles and Maersk’s UK spending £1 million in Liverpool as it relocates its headquarters into the city. This made the Northwest of England a viable and most preferred destination for FDI in the UK as it got the most FDI projects.
Other than these two major investments in the region, there were other five FDI projects in Cheshire city with another 20 in Manchester making a cumulative FDI figure of 38 projects in the region this year. With these FDI projects, the region came first but was closely trailed by Belfast as the UK’s second most preferred destination for investment.
Even so, the report noted that about half of the Northwest’s investments were in the manufacturing industry with 39% being in the Finance and business services industry. The recovery of the UK and the regions like Northwest from the economic recession and heavy FDI attraction has been impressive with about 54% of Indian FDI projects being won by the UK.
Overall though, the report suggested that FDI in the Northwest had increased in 2009 despite the global economic crisis with 17 more FDI projects into the region in 2009 when compared to 2008. Whilst 2008 had a total of 37 FDI projects into the region, 2009 had an amazing 51, showing that the region had increased its overall share of FDI into the UK even as other regions were experiencing waning FDI projects.
Ernst & Young spokesman, Barry Flynn said that that the Northwest’s attractiveness for FDI was due to its large skills availability and the extensive supply of labor. Additionally, he noted that the other than finance and business, most popular sectors involved in FDI projects were the chemicals and pharmaceuticals. He further said that regional locations were becoming the most cost effective alternatives, less competitive and were proving that they can as well meet the needs of foreign investors.
June 4, 2010.