Foreign investment in Scottish oil and gas projects soars 50 %

Oct 25, 2004 02:00 AM

Foreign investment in Scotland jumped nearly 50 % in the first half of the year compared with last year, with oil and gas projects leading the growth. In a report released by Ernst & Young, it also showed that the UK remains one of Europe's top regions for foreign direct investment destinations, attracting 50 % more projects than nearest rivals France and Hungary.
But while the number of investment projects in the UK has risen from 271 to 313, total investment shares slipped to 22 %, down from 24, as the country faces stiffer competition from Eastern Europe.

Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia drew in manufacturing firms eager to take advantage of cheap labour, increasing their aggregate share of all projects from 14 to 20 % and projects numbers from 156 to 283.
"Britain is no longer the leading location for manufacturing as it was five years ago," said Nigel Wilcok, senior advisor to the UK at Ernst & Young. "It's inevitable, it will never return to its markets shares of the 1990s. Both the standard and the cost of living are low in the East compared to the West. As the world shrinks, manufacturers are turning towards the low-risk economies which can offer better value for money."

In Scotland, the number of new investment schemes rose dramatically from 25 to 45, the second largest increase in the UK after Eastern England. The country's economy attracted over 14 % of all ventures coming into the UK compared with 9 % in the first six months of 2003. The biggest increase was in the oil and gas industry, which generated 13 out of the 20 additional inward ventures.
The United States topped the list of countries investing in Europe while Japan, the UK and Germany were the second largest outward investing countries. Investments from Asia -- Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea -- were also on a hike and are expected to enter the top 5 recipient of foreign investment within the year's end if the trend is sustained.

Source: The Scotsman
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