Foreign investment on rise in SW

A report produced by leading economists from the south west shows increasing numbers of foreign-owned companies are investing in the region.

The latest South West Regional Economic Profile shows that since 2003 most areas of south west England have seen increased direct foreign investment. The top performing region was the west of England, which has quadrupled foreign investment over the past four years.

The South West Regional Economic Profile is published twice a year by the Business and Economy Module of the South West Observatory and the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA).

The economists’ research also found that student numbers at some south west higher education institutions have grown by approximately 40 per cent over the last five years. BristolUniversity also recorded the highest number of patents of all regional higher education institutions.

Nigel Jump, chief economist at the South West RDA, said: ‘Foreign-owned companies can bring many benefits to south west England’s economy, including greater productivity and higher wages. They also provide some healthy competition for the region’s indigenous businesses. As an agency we have been working with other organisations such as UK Trade & Investment to encourage foreign businesses to come to south west England, where they can profit from a highly skilled workforce and good quality of life.’