Foreign direct investment into the West Midlands surged upwards last year despite the recession – in contrast with the national picture which saw a slight decrease.
The region is the third most popular destination behind London and the South East, and last year saw 51 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, compared to 37 in 2008.
Out of those 11 were located in Birmingham, five in Coventry, five in Solihull and eight were in Warwick.
The bulk of projects originated from investors in US (7), Germany (5), Sweden (5) France (4) and India (3).
Underlying the region’s strengths as a manufacturing centre, 28 of the investment projects came from businesses operating in the manufacturing sector, and 19 came from businesses in finance and business services.
Meanwhile on a national level, the UK retained its position as the most attractive destination for inward investment in Europe in 2009, according to Ernst & Young’s latest European Attractiveness Survey.
The UK attracted 678 investment projects in 2009 – one per cent less than in 2008.
Ernst & Young partner James Close said: “When seen in the context of 12 months during which the European economy suffered a deep recession, the resilience of the UK in securing FDI is a remarkable economic success story.
“The reason for the strong performance is not, however, the emergence of exciting new origins for investment or previously unforeseen sectors.
“In fact, the UK continues to achieve because of the strengths of London as a business and financial services centre, the underlying strengths of the UK in securing service sector investment and, crucially, the continuingly special corporate relationship between the UK and the US. Indeed, the principal reason why the UK is the leader in the attraction of FDI is that the UK is the location of choice in securing US investment, and the US is the main origin of FDI into Europe. “Investment from BRIC economies are yet to emerge as major trends.
“This is perhaps not surprising as new streams for investment need to gain maturity before they internationalise.”