To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Latest News

Investment - Actions speak louder than words

24th May 2017

Categories: Latest News

Britain is the number one destination in Europe for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) according to figures released at the end of last month by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

UK FDI soared to $253.7bn (£197bn) in 2016 up from £38bn the previous year. The figures also show that the bulk of the increase in FDI to the EU was driven by the UK, an increase of 17%. Even with larger deals stripped out, the UK is still the top destination in Europe.

So what about Brexit? Surely companies were supposed to be holding back and considering their position? Weren’t we told to expect a slow down a year on from the referendum?

There are so many differing forecasts on the impact of Brexit, but I wonder what the views are of Torbay’s stakeholders and influencers now as to what Torbay must do to attract further inward investment and FDI. It is especially difficult to attract FDI if you aren’t a major city. Together we should be spearheading the cause working with those foreign owned businesses that are already here, given its importance for job creation and growth and the need to support the raise in productivity levels that the wider Heart of the South West area needs to achieve.

It is easy to use the phrase “...we must seek to attract investment...” or “…we fully support these initiatives...” but there needs to be a level of understanding and support for the investment cause to appreciate how it works.

Perceived, or otherwise, connectivity and infrastructure issues, including digital as well as physical still arise in our conversations with businesses, especially those operating internationally. Greater recognition and exposure of Torbay’s manufacturing capabilities and R & D expertise is still often overshadowed by other parts of our economy – or worse still it is thought that we don’t have it – which just isn’t the case as I have written in previous columns.

Funding to support growth, for indigenous and foreign owned companies, as long as the money is invested here, helping to maintain our business base for the future should perhaps be on the list of ‘wants’ also.

Torbay will continue to add, in small part, to next year’s OECD figures with new FDI to Torbay and existing FDI companies growing, in both manufacturing and R & D. It has been said before by my colleagues – and it’s a phrase that is being used with confidence – ‘Torbay’s time is now’.

So, if you are part of a Torbay business, please tell those who need to hear what you think is needed to support growth. And maybe also tell your supply chains, intermediaries, professional advisors and industry associations to consider Torbay as their next expansion target and to act soon, so that they can become part of our future success.

RSS feeds