The West Midlands has cemented its status as a worldwide funding hotspot, rising because the UK’s high regional location for attracting International Direct Funding (FDI) exterior London.
The area has recorded the best annual progress charge of all UK areas.
In line with official information from the Division for Enterprise and Commerce (DBT), 181 FDI initiatives landed within the area through the 2022/23 monetary 12 months – extra initiatives than Scotland and Wales mixed and overtaking the South East for the primary time. This represents over 10% of the UK’s whole FDI wins (1,654) – the most important share of all UK areas exterior the capital. With 8,252 jobs created by abroad buyers throughout the identical interval – a 48% enhance in comparison with 2021/2022 – the West Midlands additionally bucked the nationwide development of a decline in FDI-related jobs.
The final monetary 12 months additionally noticed the West Midlands Progress Firm (WMGC) – the area’s official funding promotion company – reaching a record-high efficiency, with recorded initiatives representing an unprecedented 171% enhance on final 12 months.
The Enterprise and Tourism Programme (BATP), the primary programme of its variety established to spice up the financial impression of the Commonwealth Video games, has performed a key function in boosting the area’s inward funding efficiency.
Over the past 12 months, BATP-led commerce and funding missions to India; Australia, Malaysia and Singapore and the US have enabled the area to strengthen present commerce ties and attain into new markets to extend its inward funding pipeline. Specifically, over the past twelve months, India has overtaken the US to grow to be the West Midlands’ main supply of FDI, with tech-led investments into the area representing a outstanding development.
One third of WMGC’s portfolio of inward funding initiatives in 2022/23 had been secured as a direct results of the International Progress Programme – a assist package deal – led by WMGC – to assist worldwide corporations kickstart their progress journey within the UK. These embody worldwide funds options supplier, Fincra; Singapore-based RegTech firm, Primacy; India-based EdTech firm, Thoughts & Matter; India’s first plastic credit score platform, The Disposal Firm, and Canada-based pan-African fintech firm, Kora.
Matt Hammond, Chair of the West Midlands Progress Firm (WMGC), mentioned: “Regardless of the wave of shocks which have confronted the worldwide economic system over the past 12 months, these newest FDI figures are a reminder that funding urge for food within the West Midlands stays extraordinarily sturdy. It exhibits the mileage and impression of the West Midlands on the world stage when the proper interventions – such because the Enterprise and Tourism Programme – are in place.
“The West Midlands’ spectacular figures buck the nationwide development of declining jobs and outstrip all the UK with regards to FDI job progress – together with London. They’re an indication of WMGC’s award-winning funding technique in observe, as we proceed to strengthen ties with key markets to the advantage of native individuals”.
As a part of the £1.5 billion Deeper Devolution Deal, WMGC will co-develop a bespoke West Midlands worldwide technique together with DBT. This may assist us to supercharge the legacy of the Video games by opening up new abroad markets for West Midlands merchandise and convey tens of millions of kilos value of international direct funding into the area.
Andy Avenue, Mayor of the West Midlands, mentioned: “Everyone knows simply how vital inward funding is to the success of the West Midlands economic system, and so it truly is good information that this newest information exhibits how we’re the strongest performing area.
“Not solely does this imply that our industrial heritage, entrepreneurial tradition, world-class universities and a broad and deep expertise pool is setting the West Midlands aside within the eyes of abroad buyers, but it surely additionally means hundreds of high quality jobs are being created proper right here for native individuals.
“There couldn’t be a better vote of confidence within the area than buyers placing their cash on the desk in the best way they’ve this previous 12 months, however it’s vital now that we sustain this momentum and proceed to construct on the worldwide platform that the Commonwealth Video games gave us.”
The power of the West Midlands’ FDI technique was just lately recognised at fDi Intelligence European Cities and Areas of the Future 2023, the place Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry & Warwickshire all secured top-three rankings. The rankings benchmark European cities and areas in line with their financial, monetary, and enterprise strengths.