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Grow key markets for inward investment

Greater Birmingham has been the leading LEP area for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years.

Despite the pre-EU referendum unease of investors over the last quarter, the area has attracted 81 new FDI projects in 2015/16, creating and safeguarding 5,176 jobs, and representing an increase of 86 % from 2011/12. In the wider West Midlands region 11,119 new jobs were created, more than any other region outside London.

Foreign investment has been predominately driven by the advanced manufacturing sector – representing 31% of all FDI projects in 2015/16 – closely followed by the IT, creative and digital sector (23% of the total) and business, professional and financial services (15% of the total) All three sectors have been heavily targeted as part of the region’s strategy to diversify its economy and create the greatest employment opportunities for the local workforce.

Our competitive strengths for attracting inward investment include excellent access to large domestic markets, world-class supply chain expertise and infrastructure, competitive costs, availability of land, easy access to world-class research institutions, strong clusters and networks and a supportive environment.

Our ambition is to build on these strengths and develop robust propositions that position Greater Birmingham, as part of the West Midlands, as a dynamic city region able to compete globally as a destination for investment in the future.

Through our inward investment partner the West Midlands Growth Company, we are engaging with our public sector and commercial partners to strengthen and deploy our assets and offer, and to grow targeted inward investment sectors in which Greater Birmingham is globally competitive:

  • advanced engineering (automotive, aerospace, environmental technologies and rail)
  • business, professional and financial services
  • ITEC including digital and creative media
  • life sciences
  • food and drink.

We are working to diversify our footprint of target FDI countries, creating bespoke solutions to a range of markets to ensure the region has the agility necessary to cope with the changing global environment.

As part of this overall approach we are:

  • Collaborating with public and private sector companies to promote our combined strengths in key target markets, working proactively to diversify our footprint of investment countries, therefore enabling us to manage changes in the global economy
  • Collaborating closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT), aligning our overseas sales missions and marketing programmes to maximise benefits wherever possible
  • Continuing to maximise the opportunities evolving from central government’s creation of six public sector hubs
  • Continuing to work with our partners across the West Midlands and the Midlands Engine to develop our key supply chains
  • Working as part of the WMCA to deliver compelling, joined-up investor offers accessible via ‘one front door’ and joined up with our respective Growth Hubs
  • Continuing to deliver our strategic account management programmes to support our major investors