Greater Birmingham inward investment strategy recognised with four globally renowned awards
Greater Birmingham’s strategy for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and supporting new investors has been recognised with a total of four awards as part of the fDi Strategy Awards 2018 – one of the industry’s most prominent benchmarks of FDI competitiveness.
The rankings are based on the fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times’ analysis of FDI Strategy submissions from a total of 112 entries from across the world. Greater Birmingham is ranked as globally leading in all of the following areas:
- Infrastructure as FDI catalyst – Based on the infrastructure development and transport connectivity in Greater Birmingham
- Soft landing – Based on the support services offered by inward investment programme Business Birmingham to potential investors on arrival, such as property searches, recruitment support and publicity
- Aftercare – Based on Business Birmingham’s ongoing support for investors once established in the city region
- Projects wins – Based on case studies of existing FDI projects in Greater Birmingham
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of West Midlands Growth Company, commented:
“The fDi Strategy Awards are accepted as a global endorsement of a destination’s commitment and ability to attract foreign investment. It is therefore fantastic to see Greater Birmingham recognised not once, but four times for what clearly is an unrivalled service, dedicated to supporting businesses and creating a robust economy.
“The relentless support offered by our Business Birmingham and wider West Midlands teams has proven to be of great value to foreign investors. And with the West Midlands demonstrating the only UK region to witness growth in both FDI projects and employment last year, we’re seeing the tangible results of these efforts”.
The fDi Strategy Awards rankings reflect the same confidence seen in government’s official statistics. The West Midlands is the UK’s only area to have witnessed growth in both the number of foreign investment projects and FDI employment, according to the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) latest figures. A total of 171 new FDI projects were recorded during 2017/18, with the number of associated jobs reaching 9,424 – the highest number of new jobs created in any area outside London.
Business Birmingham has created a new ‘Investor Toolkit’ to capitalise on this demand, enabling potential investors to access information on the region with ease. The toolkit includes downloadable resources spanning the tech & digital, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, food & drink and the business, professional & financial services sectors. The toolkit features an array of success stories from existing investors in Greater Birmingham, such as HSBC, Lombard Risk, Guhring and HydraForce.
Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added:
“We have a golden decade ahead of us here in Birmingham. Unprecedented levels of investment are transforming the city’s infrastructure, The Commonwealth Games will take place here in 2022 and the first phase of High Speed Rail is expected to be completed by 2026.
“These awards are testament to how we’re pulling together as a region, across public and private sectors, to capitalise on the opportunity we have in front of us. For businesses across a diverse range of sectors – from manufacturing and engineering, to technology and financial services – our city is poised to welcome you to a thriving landscape of opportunity”.
Investors that located in Birmingham in 2017/18 included Norwegian medical software company Dignio, US engineering, construction & project management company Bechtel and Australian FinTech company EML payments.
Paul Gibbs, Bechtel’s Managing Director of UK Infrastructure, said:
“The West Midlands is investing at an unprecedented level in its infrastructure, with major schemes such as HS2 underpinning the region’s growth potential. By locating here, we are ideally positioned to maximise on major projects like this and pursue further opportunities across the region’s highways, rail and aviation markets, working with Highways England, Network Rail and key infrastructure organisations.”