The number of British jobs sustained by foreign direct investment fell in the last year, despite a pick-up in the number of projects financed by money from abroad, government figures revealed today.
The total number of jobs supported by foreign investment was 107,898 in 2016/17, down seven per cent from the previous year, according to the Department for International Trade (DIT).
The number of new jobs created over the year by foreign investment fell to 75,226, down from more than 80,000 in the previous two years. Some 20,000 of those jobs were created in London, by far the biggest beneficiary in terms of jobs.
The number of individual projects rose by two per cent to reach 2,265, the figures showed.
The US was the biggest source of both jobs and projects financed from foreign money.
Investment from France was the second biggest source of jobs in the UK economy, prompting international trade secretary Liam Fox to visit Paris today as part of his efforts to drum up support for business after Brexit.
He will meet senior representatives of French manufacturing, energy and financial services with UK interests and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, and he will also address the Franco British Chamber of Commerce, which is the oldest British Chambers of Commerce in Europe.
Fox is unable to officially negotiate trade deals with other nations until the UK has left the EU customs union. However, keeping free trade links with Europe, the UK’s biggest trading partner, will likely be a key priority in the Brexit negotiations already underway.
Fox said: “It is in all our interests to maintain the freest possible trade between Britain and the European Union, recognising the vast benefits that free trade brings, not only to large economies such as Britain and France, but to smaller developing nations across the world.”