West Midlands sees bumper crop of FDI projects

The West Midlands has retained its position as the UK’s leading region outside London and the South East for attracting foreign direct investment, according to new data.

A total of 157 new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects were recorded in the region during the 2019/20 financial year.

The figures come from the Department for International Trade and represent the strongest performance of all UK regions outside of London and the South East, accounting for eight per cent of the UK’s total projects.

The number of new, associated jobs created totalled 3,883 and 2,220 additional jobs were safeguarded in the West Midlands, the analysis suggests.

The leading sectors for attracting investment into the region were advanced manufacturing, automotive, software and computer services and business and consumer services.

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Notable investment projects here included Indian IT company Microland creating a European HQ in Birmingham.

Matt Hammond, chairman of inward investment agency the West Midlands Growth Company, said: “The latest figures from the Department for International Trade reinforce the West Midlands as one of the UK’s most important regions to drive economic growth.

“Despite a period of unprecedented trade disruption globally, the region’s inherent industry strengths and critical mass of talent have assured our ability to successfully compete on the world stage.

“We are proactively showcasing the region’s expertise in future mobility, digital healthcare and sustainable construction to promote our leading role in a more resilient, inclusive and decarbonised future.

“Additionally, the region’s hosting of major global events in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Coventry City of Culture 2021 will be fully maximised as part of our enhanced investment strategy targeting the Commonwealth markets.

“It is clear the post-covid-19 downturn in many areas of cross-border investment will continue into next year.

“Our revised FDI strategy therefore needs to consider the West Midlands’ most vulnerable target sectors in addition to how it will grow its most buoyant.”

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street added: “The region’s distinctive set of unique assets provide the essential preconditions for an effective long-term economic recovery.

“The West Midlands’ latest foreign investment performance is a clear signal of this.

“Our region’s recovery blueprint has already been backed by £150 million in Government funding which will help to instill even greater confidence in our region, unlocking a wave of additional, new investment.”

The new government figures showed the UK as a whole attracted 1,852 new inward investment projects in the 2019/2020 financial year with 56,117new jobs created.

Business Live – West Midlands