By Daniel Hunter

The Midlands created more employment from foreign direct investment (FDI) than any other region in the UK 2011, according to Ernst & Young’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey.

Despite attracting fewer FDI projects during 2011, the number of jobs created in the Midlands has nearly doubled — to 6,738 from 58 projects, compared with 3,769 from 91 projects in 2010.

The UK remains Europe’s leading FDI destination, with London attracting the most projects in 2011 (327), followed by South East England (83) and Scotland (51). London and the South East were the only regions to experience an increase in the number of projects from 2010.

Wouter Schuitemaker, investment director for Business Birmingham — the inward investment programme for Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull — said: “While the Midlands continues to attract large, cash-rich investors that are creating significant numbers of jobs, we are not operating on a level playing field with other UK destinations. English regions are having to compete with the substantial financial incentives often offered by the UK’s devolved nations to attract investors to their locations.

“Business Birmingham has helped to create 2,750 jobs in the past year by attracting major investors to the city region. However, offering competitive financial incentives could dramatically improve our success rate and ensure an equal footing with other UK locations.

“The growth of regional economies is a key part of the government’s deficit reduction programme — without a fairer system in the incentives offered to potential investors, this will be virtually impossible.”

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