Glasgow ranked top city in Europe for overseas investment strategy

Published: 16 February 2024

The University of Glasgow has welcomed Glasgow’s ranking as Europe’s number one large city for its strategy to attract overseas investment.

The University of Glasgow has welcomed Glasgow’s ranking as Europe’s number one large city for its strategy to attract overseas investment.

World-leading business experts fDi Intelligence placed the city above Bilbao, Porto, Dusseldorf and Gothenburg for its approaches and ability to secure foreign investment.

As well as the number one spot for its foreign direct investment strategies in the European Cities & Regions of the Future 2024, Glasgow was also ranked fifth for connectivity and 10th for business friendliness.

The rankings are based on the performance of 330 European cities. The ‘Large Cities’ category includes those cities with a population of over 500,000 and a wider urban region of over one million.

The City Council’s Invest Glasgow team has helped attract overseas investment which has brought over 6000 jobs in the past five year.

The team has helped to attract investment from major companies such as Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Merck KGaA, Planet DDS and Spire Global to the city.

The University is a key partner in Glasgow region’s economic strategy and is doing a lot of work to boost the innovation economy around life sciences, fintech, quantum technologies, and creative and digital technologies.

Uzma Khan, Vice-Principal for Economic Development and Innovation, and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the University of Glasgow, said: "The University of Glasgow is committed to creating decent, well-paid jobs and attracting investment into our city region through our world-leading research excellence and innovation ambitions.

“Through our focus on developing the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District, we are investing alongside partners to support the city’s strategy, such as the development of the world-class Health Innovation Hub in Govan, which will set the stage for a thriving life sciences cluster in Glasgow, attract new innovative businesses to the region and deliver local benefits to our communities.

"In a fiercely competitive world, we are thrilled that Glasgow’s approach has been recognised as leading the way on attracting overseas investment, as well as it being ranking in the top 10 for European cities in terms of connectivity and business-friendliness. We look forward to playing our part in attracting further investment to Glasgow."

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see this recognition of the impact of the City Government’s economic policies, which have transformed Glasgow’s approach to inward investment and put us in the top rank of European cities to attract high quality jobs and generate growth all our citizens can share in.

“Recent years have seen the emergence of really significant sectors in tech, the green economy, the space industry, the creative economy, and advanced manufacturing - and these will all help to drive Glasgow’s future growth and high skilled jobs.”

Stuart Patrick, chief executive, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said: “Glasgow has a strong track record of attracting investment across a diverse discipline of sectors.
“Our global expertise in such industries as financial services, life sciences and a growing reputation in renewables has elevated our position to being one of the top cities for investors and business looking to base their operations here.

“Couple this, with the universities and colleges in our city which are supplying the city region’s skills base for present and future demands, it is no surprise to see Glasgow recognised as a top destination for international investment."

David McClelland, Glasgow site head and Managing Director for Merck’s Scottish sites, said: “The recognition of Glasgow as the best European city for fDi is thoroughly deserved and a just recognition for the strides the city has made in attracting investment over the last number of years.

“Just last year we announced a €35 million expansion to Merck’s biosafety testing services site in Glasgow, which demonstrates the city’s status as a global hub for science and innovation, built on an excellent pipeline of talented workers.”

FDi Intelligence, which is part of the FT group, cited Glasgow’s partnerships between Government, academia, businesses and the community and the hundreds of millions of pounds in funding secured over the past 18 months to advance the innovative sectors emerging across the city region.



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First published: 16 February 2024