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Region urged to 'fight harder' to attract direct foreign investment

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Foreign direct investment in the East of England remained relatively high last year and Cambridge ranked as the 8th most attractive UK location for overseas projects for the second year running but the region is being urged to 'fight harder' to avoid losing out to other parts of the UK.

Although the number of foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the East fell to 36 in 2018 from 59 in the previous year, it remains well up on earlier years such as 2015, when the region attracted just 21 projects. Ten FDI projects were recorded in Cambridge last year, down from 14 projects in 2017, followed by Peterborough with three projects in 2018. Biggleswade, Hemel Hempstead, Lowestoft, Stamford and Thetford also secured two projects each. EY’s 2019 UK Attractiveness Survey also shows that the UK remained the number one destination for FDI in Europe in 2018 with 1,054 projects, ahead of Germany and France. The East saw most of its investment come from the US (19%) - below the UK average of 32% - whilst Japan (14%) and Germany (11%) were also significant. Meanwhile, the number of jobs secured by investments in the East of England in 2018 fell by 30 per cent from 2,835 in 2017 to 1,971.

Nick Gomer, managing partner at EY in the East of England, said: “Our latest report demonstrates a mixed picture for the East of England in terms of foreign direct investment. It’s fantastic to see Cambridge as a top 10 UK location for attracting inward investment, with many other key locations in the East attracting a large number of FDI projects. However, whilst inward investment in the region remains high when comparing 2018 to years prior to 2016, a 40% year-on-year drop in the number of projects cannot be ignored. This acts as a warning sign that our region must fight harder to ensure that it’s not losing out to other UK regions such as Greater London or the South East.”

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 August 2019 07:20 )