UK outperforms every other EU economy in foreign direct investment

The UK has been confirmed as one of the top three investment destinations in the world, performing above all other major economies in the EU.

The figures form part of the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study into inwards investment across the world.

Foreign direct investment, sometimes known as FDI, is defined as an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.

The UK places third on the list, behind only China and the US, outperforming every other EU member state as the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.

In total, the authors recorded the total value of the UK’s foreign direct investment stock at $1,890 billion (£1,453 billion) at the end of 2018.

This is more than Germany ($920/£707 billion), Spain ($659/£506 billion) and Poland ($229/£176 billion) combined.

The largest growth in foreign direct investment was seen in the manufacturing sector, rising $10 billion (£7.68 billion) year-on-year, followed by the mining, quarrying and financial services sectors.

Likewise, in February this year, Norway’s giant state investment fund said it would increase its stake in the UK despite Brexit uncertainties. It currently holds interests in some 394 UK companies, including Rolls-Royce, Marks and Spencer, BP and Barclays.

Commenting on the figures, International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade, Liam Fox, said: “The latest OECD figures show the UK remains one of the world’s most attractive destinations for foreign investment. Those who would talk down Britain’s economic performance are proven wrong once again.

“We are the investment capital of Europe attracting far more than any of our closest competitors. International investors continue to recognise the fundamental strengths of our economy – everything from our predictable legal system to our world leading financial services.

“Foreign direct investment creates jobs, deepens ties with key markets around the world and underpins Britain’s credentials as the global champion of free trade. My international economic department will ensure the benefits of foreign direct investment continue to be felt right across the country.”