As we reach the final months of 2023, it’s fair to say that it’s been another year of uncertainty for the UK. Inflation has impacted consumer activity and found many companies looking for ways to mitigate the rising costs of doing business. This, combined with war in Europe, has provoked a more hesitant business environment worldwide.
Inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) is needed to help the UK economy recover, and to carry on creating new trade relationships in the wake of Brexit. However, with industries such as manufacturing and real estate generating demand and a year-on-year increase in inward FDI, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Thanks to our diverse pool of skilled workers, well-regulated market, and globally renowned financial expertise, countries across the globe remain keen to do business with the UK. The announcement of twelve new freeports since 2021 has also incentivised trade into the UK, offering benefits such as tax breaks, grants, and access to infrastructure.
This is the second report in our UK Attractiveness Index, marking our commitment to helping UK-based businesses and overseas organisations navigate the legal issues when working or looking to work across international borders. The first report, published at the start of summer 2023, outlines the UK cities ripe for inward investment.
Who’s investing into the UK?
It's probably no surprise that the US remains the UK’s top overseas investor. But which other countries are looking to do business?
Working with collaboration with Cebr, our new report reviews the latest trends for FDI in the UK economy. We've profiled eight strategically sound countries from around the world that have demonstrated a strong desire to strengthen ties with the United Kingdom.
Whether you’re interested in attract overseas investment or are looking for your next business venture in the UK, our experts explain how to guarantee your transaction is fair, secure, and mutually beneficial.
Show me who’s investing into the UK
The UK’s overseas investors: key facts
Get the full picture in our new report
- The USA is the biggest source of FDI flowing into the UK. Financial services made up 36% of US FDI, and professional, scientific and technical services also proved popular
- France is among the UK’s top five investors. There were 84 French investment projects which landed in the UK in 2021-22, supporting 4,628 jobs
- In 2021-22, Germany was the third largest source for investment projects, supporting 100 projects and creating 7,339 jobs
- Australia is in the top 15 countries for the largest FDI position in the UK, with £16bn in investments in 2021; a slight uptick compared to 2020, but still down on pre-COVID levels
- Indian investors in the UK supported a relatively large number of FDI projects in the UK in 2021-22, at 107, up from 99 a year earlier.