Hooray somebody loves us! With our World Cup hosting dreams potentially in tatters, and having finished bottom of the pile at the Eurovision Song Contest, I was beginning to think the world was falling out of love with this sceptred isle. However, never fear, we are still viewed as the best place in Europe for overseas businesses to invest in.
Whether this will survive increasing rates of taxation, volcanic ash, a seemingly part-time national airline and the gradual migration of business eastwards is yet to be seen, but clearly the UK is still managing to maintain its position as a location of choice for inward direct investment.
A pragmatic and flexible approach, coupled with an enterprise culture that has not yet been throttled out of us by increasing legislative red tape helps. Speaking the world’s current favourite business language doesn’t do us any harm either. Cynics may point to the fact that our open door policy to anybody who has the cash to buy up any business that takes their fancy may also be a key factor in our attractiveness. Whatever the reason, we need to remember that it remains a competitive world out there, and this trend cannot be assumed to continue.
With trading and government deficits needing to be closed in some way, continued foreign direct investment is vital to the UK’s economic future, but we take it for granted at our peril. Whether it is preserving the skills and qualities that we already have, or developing new ones, it is the responsibility of all us to ensure we continue to be the investment location of choice.