Between 2022 and 2023, the United Kingdom experienced a remarkable influx of foreign direct investment (FDI), resulting in the creation of 79,549 new jobs and the safeguarding of 6,646 existing jobs. These impressive figures were the outcome of 1,654 investment projects that found their way into the UK during this time. These investments are a combination of new investments, existing (including retention) and mergers and acquisitions (including joint ventures).  

This increase in FDI is an indication of the UK’s enduring appeal as an attractive destination for global businesses. With its skilled workforce, stable political environment, and access to international markets, the UK continues to be a prime choice for foreign investors seeking growth and stability. 

The creation of nearly 80,000 new jobs and the preservation of thousands of existing positions not only contribute significantly to the country’s employment levels but also stimulate economic growth and prosperity. These investments span various sectors, reflecting the diverse opportunities the UK offers, from technology and manufacturing to finance and innovation. 

The UK government’s efforts to build a welcoming environment for foreign investors through incentives, tax policies, and regulatory reforms have played a significant role in attracting these investment projects. 

The UK’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Washington State, home to major companies like Boeing and Amazon, is a significant step in strengthening trade relations. This marks the sixth MoU with US states, bringing the combined GDP of these agreements to £2.2 trillion, providing substantial economic opportunities for the UK. Additionally, the aerospace sector, a key focus of the MoU, offers promising prospects for UK businesses and investments, with Boeing alone having contributed over £12 billion to the UK supply chain since 2015.  With Maria Laine, President of Boeing in the UK, Ireland and Nordic region saying – “The MoU will strengthen the trade relationship between the UK and Washington. It will unlock new opportunities to develop new commercial partnerships, facilitate capital investment, foster innovation, and support global decarbonisation.”  

According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the preliminary projections for Q1 2023 show, global FDI flows quadrupled from the extremely low levels seen in Q4 2022 to reach USD 440 billion. Global FDI flows, however, were still 25% below the level seen in Q1 2022 on an annual basis. 

“The UK’s indelible footprint on the world of financial services is a cause for national pride. Indeed, it is hard to overstate the contribution of the sector to the UK: it accounts for approximately 12% of GDP and is the world’s leading international hub for debt issuance, commercial insurance and currency trading; it also provides roughly 2.5 million jobs and pays billions of pounds in taxes that help fund our public services”- From Andrew Griffith MP Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

InvestUK is a specialist in supporting foreign direct investment into the UK enterprise economy. Get in touch to find out more. 

For more information on the data used in this article:

Department for Business and Trade Inward Investment Results 2022 to 2023

State of the sector: Annual Review of UK financial services 2023

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