Almost 6,000 jobs have been created by foreign investment in Greater Birmingham's booming digital and advanced manufacturing industries, according to new figures released today.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) generated a record 4,337 new jobs in 2013/14, almost double that of the 2,439 created the previous year.
A further 1,663 roles were safeguarded, taking the total number created and secured by investors to a record 5,988 in 2013/14 – up 68 per cent.
The jobs were the result of 62 foreign investment projects across the area over the last year.
The record jobs boost is worth £362 million to the economy, rising from £298 million in 2012/13, according to the figures released by Marketing Birmingham's Regional Observatory, which collates data on inward investment.
The increase in investment to the Greater Birmingham area has been fuelled in part by growth in the advanced manufacturing and digital sectors.
A quarter (15) of FDI projects in 2013/14 came from creative, digital and tech firms – primarily from small start-ups – painting a positive picture of Greater Birmingham's rapidly growing digital industry.
Birmingham was also recently named the most entrepreneurial city in the UK outside London and a start-up hotspot
The influx of overseas digital investment has coincided with the BBC announcing that its new digital innovation team will be developed in Birmingham.
The region will also serve as its base for running creative and digital apprenticeships as the Mailbox becomes home to its UK 'talent centre'.
Andy Street, chairman of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), said: "Greater Birmingham is attracting global attention as investors from around the world begin to take notice of what we have to offer them.
"Britain's manufacturing revival is being driven right here, professional services investment is on the rise and foreign digital firms increasingly drawn here, putting innovation into action.
"Greater Birmingham is Britain's shining light when it comes to exports, advanced manufacturing and inward investment."
BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: "This is just the start – but make no mistake, if you're interested in new skills and digital innovation, this is the place to be."
The region's advanced manufacturing sector continued to attract broad investment with 12 projects delivering 2,000 jobs in 2013/14 – 46 per cent of all new jobs reported – building on the area's position as the UK home of manufacturing.
Jaguar Land Rover led the charge with a £1.5 billion investment in its Solihull site as part of plans to develop all-new technically advanced aluminium vehicle body structures.
Vax, the household floorcare manufacturer owned by Hong Kong-based TechTronic Industries, has shown its commitment to the area by setting up its new R&D facility in the heart of Birmingham's Colmore Business District.
The region's financial and professional services sector also saw a boost with more than 600 new jobs in 2013/14.
Half of these were created by German investment company, Deutsche Bank, which plans to become the largest trading bank in the city and points to the quality of the area's talent pool as a key draw to locating in Brindleyplace.
Further major investors in the professional sector include Hogan Lovells, a growing American law firm, which chose Birmingham for its new UK legal centre.
DTZ, the global real estate consultancy, also brought its European financial control centre to the region from Eastern Europe.
Birmingham was recently recognised as FDI Destination of the Future by FDI Association at the World Forum Awards in Shanghai and the best place to invest in the UK by the highly regarded US investor magazine, Site Selection
Business Birmingham, the area's inward investment programme, is responsible for attracting and supporting investors to the area to help them establish and grow locally.
It works on behalf of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Invest Black Country and Birmingham City Council, as well as in partnership with national investment body UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, which operates Business Birmingham, said: "We have worked hard to create one of the most extensive international networks of any regional city and, with the support of our partners, including our highly regarded universities – and their increasing global presence – we expect to build our reach significantly over the coming year.
"Looking ahead, our pipeline is very strong with the balance going increasingly towards foreign investors. People from across the globe are talking about Greater Birmingham.
"The range and depth of our talent, particularly those at the forefront of new technologies across all sectors – from life sciences to digital – is helping us to create an excitement that investors want to be part of."
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