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Record foreign investment in East of England businesses in 2017

Foreign investors are investing more in East of England businesses. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Foreign investors are investing more in East of England businesses. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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A record number of projects were started with direct foreign investment (FDI) in the East of England in 2017, research shows.

The region ranked 7th out of 12 UK regions for FDI with a total of 59 projects supported, up from 40 in 2016, according professional services firm EY’s 2018 UK Attractiveness Survey.

Digital overtook business services as the East’s most popular sector to invest in, representing a quarter (25%) of all inward investment into the region in 2017.

Despite the level of FDI attracted, the number of jobs created in the East of England by overseas investors decreased by 4% – from 2,953 in 2016 to 2,835 in 2017 – although EY said this is still regarded as a “substantial level” of new employment compared to previous years.

Nick Gomer, managing partner at EY in the East of England, said: “The region’s outstanding performance in 2017 gives us solid foundations as we continue to work towards rebalancing the UK economy.”

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