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London retains crown as world’s most attractive city for foreign investment

London attracted 235 foreign investment projects in 2014 as it retained its title as the world’s leading city for foreign direct investment, IBM’s annual Global Location Trends report has revealed.

This marks the seventh year in a row that London has topped the IBM rankings. Paris was the next most attractive city for investment attracting 144 FDI projects.

London outperformed major global cities across all continents with significantly more investment projects compared with other destinations such as New York (31), Singapore (79) and Dublin (51).

The report also reveals that foreign investment into London generated 11,300 jobs for the city in 2014, more than the number of jobs for Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona combined.

On a national level, the report found that the UK is the leading country in Europe for the number of jobs created from foreign direct investment projects. FDI has provided a boost for the national economy with 49,500 jobs – almost double the amount of the next highest ranking country, Germany (23,100).

London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s inward investment company, helped 270 international companies establish their businesses in London in the financial year 2014/15, with the USA, India and China accounting for almost half of all investment. The capital’s thriving tech sector saw the most number of investments, representing 40 per cent of all companies investing the capital.

These figures support the findings of research launched at this year’s London Technology Week, demonstrating London’s attractiveness as a tech hub.

Professional services firm EY found that more than 1,000 international tech investment projects were located in London between 2005–2014, significantly more than the next most attractive city, Paris (381).

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP said: “For centuries London has been one of the world’s most successful international trading cities and it is terrific that we continue to attract record levels of business from overseas.

“London’s position at the centre of the world makes it an ideal destination for investors and international companies looking to do business with markets across the globe. Foreign investment is a key driver of jobs and growth for the London economy.”

David Slater, director of international trade and investment at London & Partners, added: “With unrivalled access to international markets, creative talent and capital, London offers the world’s most competitive business environment for international companies looking to grow and expand.

“From technology to life sciences, London’s high concentration of global decision makers and experts makes it an ideal destination for businesses looking to establish an international headquarters.

“This fact is supported by IBM’s report which reveals that over last year we have seen more companies expand and relocate in London than New York, Singapore and Dublin combined. In 2015/2016, we expect to help even more international companies move and grow their businesses in London.”

Total global foreign investment increased by 6% in 2014 while the associated jobs created also saw a 6% increase in the same period. The report outlines the latest trends in corporate location selection, showing where companies are locating and expanding their businesses and creating jobs around the world.