With 100 days to go until the referendum, new figures have further underlined Scotland’s strong economy, with inward investment reaching a 16 year high – creating more than 4,000 jobs.
The Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey confirms that Scotland attracted 82 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in 2013 – an 8 per cent increase on 2012 – and that Scotland continues to be the top location for foreign investment in the UK outside London.
Today’s figures demonstrate the strength of Scotland’s economy – and, according to the SNP, fly in the face of the No campaign’s claims that the independence referendum would damage the Scottish economy and discourage inward investment.
Ernst and Young also said that Scotland’s high international profile in 2014 gives the country a “competitive edge” over the rest of the UK.
The Survey, which analyses UK inward investment in the past 12 months, also highlighted the opportunity to boost investment in 2014 – with Scotland’s increased profile, the Commonwealth Games, and the Ryder Cup creating what they call a “halo effect”.
Commenting, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:
“These are very encouraging figures which confirm that Scotland is an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investment – and shows that the No camp’s strategy of talking down the Scottish economy is failing.
“George Osborne claimed that the independence debate would damage the economy and deter investment – but as the expert Ernst & Young report makes clear, exactly the opposite is true.”
In November 2011, UK Chancellor George sborne claimed the prospect of independence was harming investment in Scotland.
He told the BBC: “I think that uncertainty is damaging investment in Scotland – and there are major businesses around the world who have asked me as chancellor in the last year ‘tell us what is going on in Scotland – we’re worried about making an investment in that country’.
Mr Gibson added: “Inward investment now stands at a 16 year high – creating more than 4,000 jobs across the country. With 100 days to go it’s time that the No campaign accepted the reality that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and an attractive place to do business.
“Moreover, Ernst & Young make clear that Scotland’s high international profile in 2014 gives us a ‘competitive edge’ over the rest of the UK in attracting jobs and investment – and the way to boost that profile further is to vote Yes.
“The Scottish Government is doing everything it can to grow the economy with the economic powers it currently holds – and is delivering positive results, as this survey shows.
“Scotland is an immensely wealth country – richer per head than the UK, France and Japan. With the full fiscal and economic powers guaranteed by a Yes vote, the Scottish Government could do even more to strengthen our economy and create jobs – and to make Scotland and even more attractive place for investment.”