Investment plan

Shaping the Scottish Economy – Inbound Investment Plan: 2022 Progress Report

Section 1: Ministerial Foreword

Attracting business to invest in Scotland is a key driver of our long-term economic well-being and prosperity. Inward investment[1] contributes disproportionately to the Scottish economy. Although only three per cent of businesses in Scotland are foreign investors, these businesses account for more than a third of jobs, around half of GVAslightly less than two-thirds of business expenditure on research and development (DBERD) and three quarters of international exports.[2] These companies play a key role in the Scottish economy, giving us access to technology, talent, markets and global investment. They support the construction of globally recognized leading clusters in Scotland and the development of local businesses and supply chains.

In October 2020 we published Shaping Scotland’s Economy: Inward Investment Plan.[3] The plan outlines our ambitions for Scotland to be a leading destination for inward investment aligned with our values ​​as a nation, committed to fair work, zero emissions and inclusive prosperity. The plan highlights the important role foreign investment plays in creating high value-added jobs for the economy, takes an evidence-based approach to identifying Scotland’s strengths, aligning them with flows of current and planned global investments, and sets out a series of actions to attract further inward investment to Scotland.

A no-delivery strategy adds no value. That’s why we’ve released this update to report on the progress of the steps we’ve taken to implement our plan and the results we’re seeing as a result.

Despite global headwinds and the impacts of Brexit and Covid, over the past 18 months we have been rigorous in implementing these actions. At the 2022 Global Forum for IDE,[4] In Edinburgh in May, I announced the annual results of inbound investment from Scottish Enterprise Agencies: Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE). Enterprise Agencies helped attract 113 overseas investment projects for 2021-22, with 39 new investors choosing to settle in Scotland. 7,780 direct jobs have been created or maintained through foreign investment, demonstrating that foreign investment drives economic growth and job creation and protection across Scotland.[5]

Few weeks later, EYThe 2022 annual attractiveness survey showed Scotland top the charts UK to attract foreign investment. Scotland maintained its position as the best performing country IDE region or nation of UKoutside London,[6] and surpasses the rest of the UK and Europe with the growth in the number of IDE attracted projects. Scotland IDE projects increased by 14% compared to 2020, compared to an increase of 5.4% in Europe and an increase of 1.8% in UK.

These results are fantastic for Scotland and demonstrate that our plan is working. They also stress the importance of foreign investment to support the ambitions set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET),[7] by attracting high-quality foreign investment and necessary technologies in emerging areas such as energy transition, decarbonization of transport and space.

In my extensive engagement with overseas investors, both in Scotland and overseas, it is clear that our values-driven approach and the clarity of our focus on key sector strengths are increasingly resonating with existing investors and potentials. However, we cannot rest on our laurels and must continue to engage collectively with investors to make Scotland’s case for attracting inward investment in an increasingly competitive international environment.

This Domestic Investment Plan: Progress Report 2022 outlines what has been achieved by Team Scotland since the plan was published. It also sets out our priorities for the next phase of implementing the Plan to advance our ambitions to attract new values-based investment to Scotland. I take this opportunity to thank all the members of Team Scotland who have worked hard to achieve this success.

Ivan McKee MSP Minister of Enterprise, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise