Source: The Express
BRITAIN attracted more business investment from overseas last year than any other country in Europe, new figures revealed last night. Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) showed more than £1,400billion-worth of investment stock flowed into the UK from abroad during 2018.
Only the US and China attracted more foreign capital and loans than this country during the 12-month period, the figures confirmed. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox MP said the total – more than the foreign investment in Germany, Spain and Poland combined – showed that doom mongers who predicted an economic downturn after the 2016 referendum vote to quit the EU had been proved wrong again.
“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,” the Tory Cabinet minister said. He added: “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.” Data from the OECD also showed foreign investment in the UK increased by 5 percent during 2018 compared with the previous year.
Yesterday’s figures followed a survey published by the financial firm EY earlier this month which said the UK had defied Brexit uncertainty to become the most attractive country in the world for business investment over the coming year.
“While the UK’s position may surprise some, given current uncertainty, mergers and acquisitions activity during the period since the 2016 EU referendum has remained strong,” the EY survey said.
The fall in the value of the pound since the 2016 Brexit referendum was not a major driver of foreign investment in Britain, according to the report. “By and large, deals are driven by strategic rationale not currency movements,” said Steve Krouskos, EY’s global vice chair for transaction advisory services.
“What hasn’t changed is that the UK has great companies, great talent, great tech and great investment potential. These assets attract capital. Also, remember the UK isn’t the only country dealing with significant geopolitical challenges.”
The biannual EY survey was based on responses from more than 2,900 senior executives from around the world.