Birmingham sees rise in foreign investment

MG Motors Chinese owners SAIC have invested more than £1.2m in the MG Motor plant at Longbridge

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Birmingham is becoming one of the most attractive places in the country for foreign companies to invest.

According to latest figures, the number of foreign investment projects in the UK fell by 2% in the last year.

In comparison, Birmingham saw a 37% increase, with 26 new projects in the city, mainly from companies already based in the region.

Across the West Midlands, the report said more than 5,700 jobs were created.

According to figures from the Marketing Birmingham Regional Observatory, foreign investment has also safeguarded more than 5,000 existing jobs in the West Midlands over the last year.

Wouter Schuitemaker, from Business Birmingham, said the levels of overseas investment were a "considerable achievement" in "an increasingly competitive market".

He also paid tribute to local industry "creating an environment for growth".

The biggest investors in the region were from the US, Germany and India, with almost 70% of all investment going into manufacturing companies.

Jaguar Land Rover, owned by Indian firm Tata, and MG Motor, owned by Chinese automotive firm SAIC, have been among the biggest beneficiaries.

MG Motor recently announced a £1.2m investment in a new engine test facility at its Longbridge factory, as well as further investment in a virtual reality car design centre and other projects.

Doug Wallace, from MG Motors, said the city had attracted investment from the likes of China because of its recognised engineering skills base.

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