The UK is more attractive to foreign investors than Germany

When the Germans inevitably beat the English on penalties in the World Cup, remember that the whole of the UK is a darn sight more attractive to foreign investors.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 27 May 2015

There’s nothing like beating the Germans at something (especially football, but, let’s be honest, that’s pretty unlikely), and the UK is positively trumping the continent’s economic powerhouse at attracting foreign investment.
 
Britain is the fifth-most attractive destination for foreign direct investment in the next three years, according to accountants EY. That's up three places from last year, behind China, the US, India and Brazil. Meanwhile, it pulled further ahead of Germany, as both opened up a gap with the rest of Europe.
 
The number of FDI projects in the UK rose 15% to 799 in 2013, giving it a 20% share of those in Europe. German projects increased 12% to 701, while France lagged behind with 514 projects, although President Francois Hollande will still be cheered to hear that’s 9% more than 2012.
 
There’s good news for the whole of Europe too, with the value of FDI up 25% to €223bn (£181bn), the biggest increase of any region. That should distract leaders from its tumbling inflation rate...
 
The continent still lags ‘developing Asia’ by a significant margin, attracting 20% of inflows compared with 28%. However, 45% of investors ranked western Europe as the most attractive FDI destination, meaning it overtook China (on 44%) for the first time since 2009.
 
Intra-European investment was the biggest source of FDI throughout the continent, although the US was the largest single investor, accounting for 26% of projects in 2013, ahead of Germany, the UK and France.
 
With that in mind, EY UK & Ireland chairman Steve Varley’s comments are particularly prescient. ‘With intra-European FDI increasing and almost two thirds of our survey respondents identifying the UK as a gateway to Europe, clarification on the UK’s relationship with the wider continent is essential.’
 
In other words, politicians need to stop faffing around with our role in the EU. Otherwise the Germans might start beating us again – and we can’t have that.

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Economy

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