Investment in UK by foreign firms halves

BRITAIN saw its foreign investment slashed by half last year as the downturn led foreign firms to ditch spending plans in the UK, according to a UN survey.<br /><br />The world investor flow survey from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), reveals that investment in the UK was hit harder by the global recession than almost any other nation.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />The report also found that UK firms focused on the domestic market as overseas investment collapsed as the pound fell in value.<br /><br />Investment into Britain fell by half to &pound;97bn, the survey said, while British firms making investments abroad slumped to &pound;111bn from &pound;275bn the year before. <br /><br />For more than a decade the UK topped EU tables for foreign investment flowing into the region. <br /><br />The UK fell to 2nd in Europe and from 2nd to 3rd in the world, mainly as a result of the fall in the pound&rsquo;s value against the dollar, in which the figures are compiled. <br /><br />Unctad said the world&rsquo;s 82,000 multinational firms &ldquo;appear hesitant and bearish about expanding internationally&rdquo;. The report added that global foreign investor flows fell 44 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.