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Strong South East investment and trade results

17 June 2009

Figures released today show inward investment and export in the South East remains strong despite the economic downturn.

SEEDA and UKTI South East have released their trade and investment figures for 2008-2009. The report highlights encouraging regional results achieved through joint working during a challenging economic period.

SEEDA and UKTI South East assistance during 2008-2009 resulted in:

  • 17% increase in the number of companies relocating to the region
  • 90 investors, within the target industries, locating in the South East, creating or safeguarding 3,846 jobs over the next three years.

Pam Alexander, SEEDA’s Chief Executive, said: "The South East remains one of the most attractive locations for the world’s leading companies even in such a difficult operating climate. These excellent results highlight the unique strength of our region for successful businesses. These are demanding times and from a position of global strength SEEDA will continue to put supporting international companies at the heart of everything we do."

Lewis Scott, International Director for UKTI South East, said: "These are impressive results. The teams have delivered against all key performance targets in a difficult operating climate few could have predicted 12 months ago."

Jeff Alexander, SEEDA’s Executive Director for Competitiveness & Growth said, "These results, in such tough economic conditions, represent a considerable achievement by the SEEDA and UKTI Teams in their efforts to support businesses and, importantly, a true reflection of the great talent, creativity and climate of innovation and entrepreneurship that exists in the South East."

Lord Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Business said: "International trade and investment is vital to the long term economic health of the UK. Today's results illustrate strong international confidence in the UK economy and the contribution of this investment will be critical to our ability to compete and succeed as a country in the future."

SEEDA and UKTI South East have worked together to secure the following inward investment:

  • Pinewood Studios: An awareness-raising tour resulted in the post-production of the Disney film, Prince of Persia, at the studios - involving £70 million investment and 300 jobs. Post-production is now expected on the site on up to 10 more films
  • Southampton Ford Assembly Plant: A plant threatened with closure is to remain open. In addition, 1,300 jobs were created or secured through re-skilling and re-deployment of the workforce
  • Huawei: China’s leading telecommunications manufacturer is working in partnership with University of Surrey on research into wireless technologies.

South East Investment and Trade trends for 2008/09:

  • South East is one of Europe’s most attractive regions for overseas companies with the region attracting around 14% of the total FDI into the UK
  • The information and communication technology industry remained strong with 51 projects secured, up 30% on the previous year. While investments within creative, media sector doubled the healthcare technology sector declined by around 75% on 2007/08
  • 83% of projects are knowledge driven, technology intensive investments
  • The number of Global, European and UK headquarter operations secured doubled from 2007/08 to 32
  • 60% of SEEDA-assisted projects were from international companies setting up in the region for the first time
  • North America continued to represent nearly half of all investments into the South East with the remainder split relatively evenly between Europe and Asia Pacific.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Tanya Reed, Media Relations Manager, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 501 362

David Quilter, Press Officer, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 470 155

View the full media release here.

Related publications:

SEEDA and UKTI Annual Review of International Business in the South East 2008-2009

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155