Manchester remains the UK’s most attractive city with foreign investors outside London, according to a new report compiled by accountancy firm Ernst & Young.
EY’s Attractiveness Survey shows Manchester benefitted from 45 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in 2017. That’s 16 more than second-placed Edinburgh, representing a rise of 2.3 per cent on the previous year.
The North West region as a whole managed to secure 105 FDI projects in 2017, up 17 per cent year-on-year.
The report said: “At a regional level, the story of FDI into the various parts of the UK in 2017 is generally positive, with 9 of the 12 UK regions increasing their total number of projects secured.”
Despite concerns about the impact Brexit will have on the UK’s future ability to attract foreign investment, the report highlights growth in digital projects and the continuing strength of manufacturing and R&D, both strongly influenced by digital.
Manchester’s desire to capitalise on global trade opportunities has seen the city welcome significant investments from a number of Indian companies in recent years.
Manchester-based, Indian-owned bike manufacturer Hero Cycles opened a £2m global design centre in the city at the start of last year.
While presenting its electric ‘e -bike’ range to prime ministers May and Modi during April’s Commonwealth Summit, the company described itself as being “in the vanguard of future UK India trade relations”. Hero Cycles also stated that the UK was also “at the very centre of [its] growth ambitions”.
Indian IT giant Tech Mahindra officially opened its new ‘headquarters for the North’ in Salford Quays earlier this year, a move that will create 60 new jobs in Greater Manchester.
In May, Indian carrier Jet Airways said it would begin a direct service between Manchester and Mumbai before the end of 2018, a move that the Manchester-India Partnership (MIP) has said will help to stimulate inward investment, exports and research collaborations.
Speaking at the time, MIP chairman and chief executive of Manchester Airport, Andrew Cowan, said: “Direct connectivity to the world’s most important markets is key to creating a prosperous and internationally competitive Northern economy, and a balanced and outward facing UK.
“This route will deliver a major boost to businesses looking to export to the world’s fastest-growing economy, as well as helping to attract Indian visitors and investors to the North.”