A String of the International companies which are moving to the West Midlands has put forth the region on the top of the UK’s overseas investment chart for five years running. This region has been one of the UK’s foremost location for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) outside of London and the South East, based on the data from the Department for International Trade and welfare. It attracted 157 new FDI projects in the year 2019/20, which equated to approximately eight per cent of the UK’s total number. This was the largest share generated by any UK region outside of the capital and surrounding south-east. Major foundations of investment have been in the US, Germany, France and India. In total, 802 foreign funds have been made in the region, since 2015. Business, professional and financial services (BPFS), progressive manufacturing, transport technologies and tech and digital have always been the regional sectors which attracted the international companies. Global leaders such as consultancy Alvarez & Marsal and Indian IT firm Microland are among its most notable investors from the last five years.
Neil Rami, chief executive at the West Midlands Growth Company, the region’s investment promotion agency — said the region’s performance had been consistently strong. He said that this robust track record of international appeal clearly signaled their credentials as a global business destination. The region was also set to benefit from the 2021 Coventry City of Culture, 2022 Commonwealth Games, High-Speed 2 rail infrastructure and 5G multi-city tested facilities. These investments would further improve the area’s competitive edge.
In 2018, proficient services consultancy Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) supported its UK presence by opening a new office in Birmingham. A&M now has 4,500 employees spread across four continents, and delivers advisory, business performance improvement, turnaround management and due meticulous services to its private and public sectors around the world. The firm recognizes the fact that the business leaders would want advice from professionals with an understanding of the local market. It also recently set up a transactions services practice in Birmingham, led by former Ernst and Young specialist Wayne Jephson.
IPG Photonics, a primary manufacturer of the high-performance fiber lasers, capitalized in a purpose-built UK head office at Coventry’s Ansty Park in 2019. The Massachusetts-based company dedicated themselves in creating 30 high-value jobs as well as their new facility. Location and supply chain acted as the enticing factors, with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) providing a local university expertise too. Micro land opened up a European HQ in Birmingham’s Bournville suburb in February. It had formerly set up a digital hub in Longbridge in 2018.
Nagaraja Kini, the company’s vice-president, said the primary objective of the second investment was to drive IT infrastructure solutions. She believed that they knew if the region was the only place for them to fulfil their growth ambitions. One of the China’s largest investment groups, Fosun International, recently became the owner of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (Wolves) in 2016. The club has had its best placing in 40 years and a successful UEFA Europa League campaign. Fosun planned to extend the Molineux stadium and work in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council and the University of Wolverhampton to recover the area around it. Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C) has led this advancement of the UK’s new High-Speed 2 (HS2) rail network, with headquarters in the UK and Ireland. Part of Deutsche Bahn , Germany’s national railway company, DB E&C has produced occupations and reinforced regional engineering skills expansion.
The firm has also joined with the University of Birmingham to create more career opportunities for local graduates and open up R&D projects.