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Scotland is the most attractive location in the UK outside of London for foreign direct investment, according to the latest EY FDI Attractiveness Survey. Highlighting a continuing trend, the survey shows that Scotland remains a prime location for international companies considering foreign investment and expansion amid UK/Europe-wide challenges:

  • Scotland is second only to London in attracting new projects
  • Financial services investment in Scotland remains highest outside London
  • Scotland's attractiveness to new and existing investors doubles
  • Three Scottish cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen – feature in the top ten cities outside London for FDI

Sectors generating the highest number of inward investment projects are:

  • Digital
  • Business services
  • Machinery and equipment

The survey is designed to examine the evolving performance and perceptions of Scotland as a destination for foreign investment.

Scotland’s population is around 5.5 million people, with a workforce of under 3 million. The population is mainly spread across seven cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee and Stirling. Edinburgh, the capital, is the UK’s most entrepreneurial city, and ranked second for quality of life in a recent survey of 47 cities. Scotland’s GDP is estimated at £178.6 billion, or £32,800 per person, growing 1.3% year on year. There are around 346,900 private sector enterprises currently operating in Scotland. An estimated 99% of these companies are small or medium-sized enterprises, providing 1.2 million jobs.

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