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Manchester Reaches Global Top 10 For Most Popular FDI Destinations

29th August 2018

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Manchester and Liverpool have been jointly ranked the 10th most popular location globally for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017 according to a new report by IBM. This achievement has been led by Manchester which has the largest number of investments into the UK outside the capital.

The results, which focus on the world’s top 50 most influential countries for FDI, place the UK in 5th position, up one place from 2017. The country is now behind only China, Mexico, India and the US, which regained the position as top destination country for FDI.

The UK is also the 5th most popular destination for FDI jobs creation, having put 51,500 people into work, and now has 4.6 per cent of global job share. Manchester-Liverpool have jointly created 7,000 jobs.

In order to compare regions around the world more appropriately, the IBM Global Location Trends 2018 report looked at metropolitan areas based on equal labour catchment areas. On this basis they looked at a joint Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan area which attracted a combined 68 FDI projects last year, beating Dublin, Barcelona or Toronto.

Tim Newns, chief executive, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “This report once again confirms Manchester as a globally significant business destination and, together with Liverpool, illustrates the potential of the Northern Powerhouse.

“Greater Manchester is ambitious, visionary and passionate about the future. Billions of pounds are being invested to create inspiring, connected business environments that support innovation and reflect future needs, and ensure that the region continues to be a draw for the world’s most innovative companies and biggest brands.

“Talent is one of the key attractors for global businesses and with student retention figures at an all-time high in Manchester, it is creating an even more compelling case for investment.

“There are some exciting new developments still to come to Manchester including the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre which opens this year, plus the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials coming in 2019. Booking.com has been announced as the anchor tenant for the St John’s development while Airport City Manchester will expand over the next 12 months. There is also a high demand around developments such as NOMA, Mayfield Depot and Circle Square.

“MediaCityUK also continues to grow at pace with significant announcements like The Hut Group announcing they will take up residency there.”

The IBM Global Location Trends 2018 report echoes data published in the EY Attractiveness Survey UK which for 2017/18, ranks Manchester as the most successful city to attract FDI outside London. Manchester has also retained its place as the UK’s most liveable city which was recently reported in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said: “This report proves what we see every day: businesses want to invest in the Liverpool city region. Foreign investment comes in many forms, such as biomanufacturing firms in Speke, high-performance computing and big data at Sci-Tech Daresbury and our exceptionally strong health and life sciences sector.

“It’s particularly encouraging that so much of this investment is into future-facing businesses, which are undertaking truly cutting-edge work. These are the businesses which will continue to grow, and provide more jobs in the city region. Together with Manchester, it underlines the strength and breadth of the Northern Powerhouse and paints an extremely positive picture for the whole of the UK.”

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