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UK is Europe's top investment spot

16/06/14

The UK has maintained its position as an attractive destination for foreign investors, taking top spot for Europe in an EY survey of the external investment market across the globe.

It was followed closely by Germany, although one-fifth of European investments were recorded within Britain, highlighting the importance of the UK to the EU and to continental finance.

London, unsurprisingly, is increasingly dominating when it comes to attracting foreign cash.

Just fewer than half the 799 projects last year were centred on the capital, while the city's share of investment is growing faster than that of the country as a whole, moving up by a fifth over the course of 2013.

Despite this impressive performance from the UK, overall European investment was not particularly impressive over the 12 months in question, with the number of projects carried out increasing by four per cent.

Lord Livingston, trade and investment minister, expressed his pleasure at the figures and said he would attempt to drive them up further.

"In the forthcoming year, we will focus even more on investment from export-orientated companies and fast-growing economies, while promoting the attractiveness of all regions of the UK," added the peer.

Despite its relatively small economy, the country came in at fifth on a global basis, behind the likes of China, the US, Brazil and India.

Interesting, much of the external investment was focused on either research and development or tech and software, with the traditional arena of manufacturing not performing particularly well.

Only 12 per cent of industrial investments in Europe go to the UK, far less than its general share. Germany was by far the stand-out European performer along this metric.

Although plenty of government lip-service has been paid to strengthening the manufacturing sector, it appears to have remained in the doldrums somewhat despite the overall economic improvement recorded in the last 12 months.

"This government wants to work on behalf of every business in Britain to drum up trade, encourage investment and pave the way for growth," said prime minister David Cameron.

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