The West Midlands has played an important part in a fifth consecutive year of growth for UK inward investment with the creation of 4,640 jobs in the region.
The region is second only to London, which created 8,079 jobs. The inward investment figures for 2007/2008, published by UK Trade & Investment, reveal that 112 projects created 4,640 new jobs and safeguarded another 25,480 jobs in the West Midlands - the best in the country.
This means a total of 30,120 jobs were created or safeguarded in the region, including 15,000 jobs which transferred ownership from Ford to Indian-owned Tata following its acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover in May.
Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands was directly involved in 45 projects - an increase of 15 per cent on 2006-7 - which saw 2,846 jobs created and 469 safeguarded respectively.
West Midlands Minister Liam Byrne said: “These results are a ringing endorsement of the UK as an international investment destination.
“They demonstrate that our compelling mix of a business friendly environment, political and economic stability, world-class talent, and a strong research and development base, is a powerful magnet for overseas companies.”
Richard Butler, AWM’s head of inward investment, said: “The UK is the world’s number one location for inward investment so it’s crucial that the West Midlands region has a presence on the international stage.
“The competition to attract these companies is intense - but our continued work ensures that we provide the right support and conditions to encourage overseas companies to locate here.”
The region is home to about 2,300 foreign-owned enterprises employing approximately 250,000 people - about one in ten of the region’s workforce.
Successful projects involving AWM in 2007/2008 included the decision by Ericsson, the Swedish telecommunications giant, to set up a research and development facility at Ansty Park, Coventry, moving 650 jobs, and Shanghai Automotive Industry Company (SAIC) creating and safeguarding 350 jobs by establishing the SAIC Motor Technical Centre in Warwickshire.
Nearly half of the agency’s inward investment projects were attributed to the Bridge to Growth campaign, a “one-stop-shop” package of expert tax, legal and business advice specifically designed to attract and assist knowledge-based based innovation-led companies into the region for the first time at minimal cost and risk.
Sixteen companies from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and Australia took advantage of the Bridge to Growth scheme in 2007-08.
The annual inward investment results for 2007-8 showcase another highly successful year for the UK, with a record 1,573 investment projects won in what marks a fifth consecutive year of growth.
More than 120 new jobs were created each day as a result of this investment from overseas companies, bringing employment and wealth to every area of the country.
The UK Inward Investment 2007-8 report shows the total number of projects up 10 per cent from 1,431 to 1,573; 45,051 new jobs created and a further 58,488 safeguarded, bringing the total number of associated jobs to 103,539, an increase of 32 per cent.
Of the total number of projects, 653 – 42 per cent – were new and 436 – 28 per cent – were expansions by existing investors.
UKTI is the Government’s international business development organisation, supporting businesses looking to set up in the UK and helping UK companies grow internationally. It is headed by Trade Minister, Lord Jones of Birmingham.