Fox hails record FDI as he woos Indian trade

The UK enjoyed record foreign direct investment (FDI) in the 2015/16 financial year, figures from the Department for International Trade showed on Tuesday.

The UK enjoyed record foreign direct investment in the 2015-16 financial years
The data, which reflects FDI in Britain before June's referendum vote, was welcomed by Liam Fox, the new International Trade Secretary and an avowed Eurosceptic, who said it showed the UK was the "number one destination in Europe for investment". The figures showed an 11 per cent increase in inward investment projects in the year to April with 2,213 FDI schemes creating or safeguarding about 116,000 jobs, the second highest number on record.

US remains biggest source of FDI

The US remained the biggest source of FDI with 570 projects, while China financed 156 and India 140. In all, a record 79 countries invested in projects, making the UK the top European destination for investment from emerging markets. Projects from Latin America rose by 240 per cent and those from Central and Eastern Europe increased by 130 per cent."These impressive results show the UK continues to be the place to do business," said Mr Fox. "We've broadened our reach with emerging markets across the world to cement our position as the number one destination in Europe for investment. "This continued vote of confidence in the UK will help attract foreign investment to create jobs, security and opportunities for people across the UK."Dr Adam Marshall, acting director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said, "Keeping the UK attractive to overseas investors is important for our future success. Last year's up-tick in foreign direct investment is a welcome boost to business, and a good indicator of underlying confidence in the UK economy. "As Britain approaches a time of economic change, we must continue to welcome investors that are willing to make a sustained, long-term commitment all across the country."

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India is third-largest investor in Britain

Mr Fox will head for Delhi and Mumbai in a bid to boost a trading relationship which he described on Tuesday as "a partnership that lies at the very heart of the strategic relationship between our two nations". Writing in the Times of India, he added, "This relationship, built on centuries of shared history and common values, has never been more important than it is today. "Our trading relationship has strong foundations. But, more importantly, it has serious future potential. India is the third-largest investor in Britain and our largest manufacturing employer. The Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover employs 35,000 people in Britain and is a living testament to the fact that we are a vibrant manufacturing nation that is not solely reliant on the prowess of London’s mighty financial services. "And the investment relationship works both ways. British firms currently employ nearly 700,000 people in India and, as the largest G20 investor, we contribute around eight per cent of India’s foreign direct investment. The two-way nature of this FDI process allows us to see the full benefits of overseas investment."I want India to continue looking to London to finance its ambitious infrastructure plans. Even over the last few months, masala bonds have raised over £1 billion worth of investment. In technology, Britain is sharing its world-leading smart cities expertise to help fulfil the Indian government’s ambition to develop 100 smart cities by 2022. And from aerospace to defence, Britain has world-beating capabilities to contribute even more to India’s Make in India programme. "I arrive in India during an unprecedented time in British politics. On June 23, 2016, the British people made a brave and historic decision to take control of our own destiny and leave the European Union. As Prime Minister Theresa May has said, Brexit means Brexit. "But I want to reassure you that I am confident and optimistic about the future. We will now be able to forge a trading future that is right for Britain without having to compromise our own ambitions and potential to satisfy 27 other diverse member states."

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