In May 2022, Scotland hosted the annual World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This three-day event offered opportunities for discussion, networking and learning around FDI. The Forum also highlighted Scotland’s many strengths as an investment and business location.
The World FDI Forum comes to Scotland
The World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) brings together expanding businesses, investment promotion agencies, industry leaders and FDI experts from across the world. Scotland was this year’s host, with events running in Edinburgh from Monday 9 to Wednesday 11 May 2022.
There were talks and panels, networking events, and training opportunities — with the goal of helping businesses make smart investment decisions and build long-term strategic relationships.
The 2022 Forum also showcased Scotland – with its rich culture of enterprise, sustainability, collaboration and innovation – as an outstanding inward investment location.
Through extended reality (XR), attendees virtually explored three key innovation centres of excellence in Scotland. These were:
- AMIDS (Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland), a 52-hectare greenfield site on the outskirts of Glasgow
- MSIP (Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc), a joint-venture greenfield development with Michelin in Dundee, specialising in electric vehicles (EV)
- AGIC (Arrol Gibb Innovation Campus), a large-scale digitally enabled advanced manufacturing facility in Rosyth
Benefits of foreign direct investment in Scotland
Inward investment is a rewarding area of focus for Scotland. It opens opportunities in areas like the supply chain and creates new, high-paying jobs.
FDI also an important contributor to the Scottish economy. Research has found that every pound spent on attracting inward investment could generate up to £15 for the economy.
This success is thanks in large part to Scotland’s reputation as an attractive investment target. For foreign investors, Scotland offers returns that outperform most of the UK, business-friendly Government policies, and strong performance in sectors with global demand like energy, tech and health.
A strong spirit of collaboration – across the public and private sectors, and our world-class academic institutes – is another advantage that sets Scotland apart.
For these and many more reasons, the country has become an increasingly appealing choice for foreign investors. In EY’s most recent FDI attractiveness survey, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen all ranked in the top 10 FDI cities outside of London, with Edinburgh taking the top spot.
Sustainable investment opportunities in Scotland
Markets worldwide are increasing their focus on sustainability and Scotland has established itself as a low carbon leader. A bold plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045 makes it clear – Scotland supports sustainable business.
Scotland’s green ambitions are recognised on the global stage. In November 2021, the spotlight was on Glasgow, as world leaders, sustainability experts and businesses gathered for the landmark COP26 climate conference.
As well as helping businesses operate more sustainably, Scotland is also a hub for developing innovative low carbon solutions. There is a rapidly increasing number of investment opportunities in areas like climate tech, green energy and emissions reduction.
Inward FDI health and wellness opportunities
Scotland is home to one of the most exciting health and wellbeing clusters in Europe.
For over 200 years, the country has been at the forefront of healthcare discovery and innovation. This tradition continues today, with life sciences contributing £2.4 billion to the Scottish economy each year.
Global pharmaceutical companies and medical start-ups are equally well supported in Scotland. Developments in areas like drug discovery, medical technology, precision medicine and digital healthcare provide a huge selection of opportunities for inward investors.