Foreign Investors Still Favour Manchester

Manchester popular with foreign investors

Manchester remains a top place outside of London for foreign direct investment.

Manchester has again topped the league tables as the UK city attracting the most foreign direct investment (FDI) outside of London in 2016.

EY’s 2017 UK Attractiveness Survey found the Northwest region attracted 90 FDI projects in 2016 – 60 per cent of which were first time investments in the region from international investors. The Greater Manchester area continues to dominate the region in terms of FDI attracting 70 projects with the city seeing more FDI projects than contender cities with 47 projects, compared to 20 in Birmingham and 12 in Leeds.

Financial and business services and manufacturing investors dominated FDI in the region with 36 and 35 projects respectively. These include US-based XPO Logistics taking warehouse space in Trafford Park and Jonckers (a Belgium-based translation service) expanded its UK operation with a Manchester office.

The survey found FDI in the Northwest was generated from 26 different countries across the globe. Most investment in the region came from Europe – with 42 projects coming from this trade area – followed by North America with 27 projects. On an individual country basis, the USA was the biggest investor in the Northwest region with 25 projects, followed by Germany and France, who both brought in 10 projects.

The report also revealed that 61 per cent of all FDI projects in the region were announced before the EU Referendum vote, with 39 per cent announced after this date. Mark Gregory, EY’s chief economist says: “The research suggests that the EU Referendum vote and its aftermath may be having an influence on global perceptions of the UK’s medium to long-term attractiveness.”Manchester popular with foreign investors

Although London remained the UK’s dominant location for FDI, the Northern Powerhouse continued to do well attracting roughly double the number of projects they secured at the beginning of the last decade.

The outlook for the value of this investment continues to rise with Greater Manchester seeing increasing capital investment from Far East Consortium. Growing interest in the region’s innovation economy continues as more companies consider the region as a strong destination for Research and Development, driven by the strengths of the world-class universities within the city and the proximity to a further 22 universities across the North.

Greater Manchester’s combination of a clear international strategy, focusing on key international markets and sectors, a harmonising approach to keep exists the public, private and education sectors working together across the city region is the keystone to its success.

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