Follow Me on Pinterest

UK Trade & Investment

Key Competitive Attractions

UK Trade & Investment is the specialist government organisation that supports foreign companies seeking to set up or expand in the UK and for UK-based companies looking to trade internationally. We provide a fully-integrated business advisory service through our network of commercial teams worldwide.

The UK has one of the largest and most dynamic economies in the world. Comprising world-class business sectors that range from life-sciences to financial services and from ICT to the creative industries, the UK is your springboard for global growth.



Why invest in the UK?

London has been ranked as Europe’s best business location for 20 consecutive years (Source: Cushman & Wakefield, 2009)

The UK has attracted the highest number of European headquarters operations

(Source: Ernst & Young, 2009)

The UK is the best location in Europe for ‘ease of doing business’

(Source: World Bank, 2010)

The UK has 28 entries on the World Heritage List – including global icons such as Stonehenge, the Tower of London and the ‘Old and New Towns’ of Edinburgh

(Source: UNESCO, 2010)

The UK has Europe’s best track record for attracting greenfield international investment projects

(Source: UNCTAD, 2009)

The UK is home to the tope five universities in Europe

1 The University of Cambridge

2 University College London

3= Imperial College London

3= University of Oxford

5= University of Edinburgh

(Source: Times Higher University Rankings, 2009)

The UK has the best international Accessibility of all European locations, with over 200 million air passengers per year, six of the top ten busiest European air routes and direct train services to Paris in just over two hours

The University of Cambridge has been awarded more Nobel Prizes than any other institution globally.

The UK has the strongest research base in Europe, providing businesses with an ongoing source of innovative technologies.

(Source: Evidence, 2009)

The UK has the most flexible labour regulations of all major European economies

(Source: IMD, 2009)

Host to the 2012 Olympic Games, the UK is also home to world-class sporting events such as Formula One motor racing, Premier League football, tennis at Wimbledon and the Open Championship golf.


The UK is one of the largest ICT markets in Europe, worth almost £120 billion in 2009 and employing over one million people. Indeed, the UK has the strongest ICT infrastructure of all major European economies and provides Europe’s best IT skills, including the highest number of ICT graduates annually in Western Europe.

(Sources: EIU, 2009; OECD, 2010).

Advanced Manufacturing

Home to iconic companies and international market leaders such as Rolls-Royce, Nissan, Toyota, Honda and GKN, the UK is globally renowned for its excellence in design and advanced engineering.

In the automotive industry, for example, 17 of the world’s top 20 component manufacturers have UK production facilities, whilst in aerospace, the UK industry is worth over £20 billion a year, the highest level in Europe.

The UK space sector will become a £40 billion industry over the next 20 years.

(Source: UK Space IGS, 2010)

Energy and Renewables.

The UK has the sixth largest low carbon environmental goods and services market in the world, worth an estimated £112 billion and employing over 900,000 people.

In 2009, US$11.2 billion was invested in renewable energy technologies across the UK, the highest level of investment in Europe and the third highest globally (Source: Pew, 2010)

The UK is already the world’s biggest market for offshore wind – a further £100 billion will be invested in offshore wind projects by 2010.

(Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2010)

Life Sciences 

With over £26 million spent each day on R&D, the UK has the world’s most productive life sciences research base, having created five of the world’s top 20 best-selling medicines and having 45 per cent of all pipeline products in Europe. The UK continues to produce the highest number of life sciences graduates annually in Western Europe (Source: OECD, 2010) and has two of the world’s top three universities in life sciences and biomedicine (Source: Times Higher Education Supplement, 2009).

The UK has been awarded 30 Nobel Prizes in life sciences. (Source: Nobel Foundation, 2010)

Financial Services

London is ranked as the leading financial centre in the world – more than twice the amount of US dollars are traded on the UK foreign exchange market than in the USA and more than twice as many Euros are traded in the UK than in the Eurozone countries combined. The UK has the largest venture capital market in Europe. (Source: Global Financial Centres Index, 2010/Venture Capital Association, 2010)

London has 249 foreign banks – the highest number globally

(Source: IFSL, 2010)



The UK creative industries sector represents one of the UK’s most exciting and diverse opportunities for international investors. Indeed, already recognised as being amongst the most influential and successful globally, the UK creative industries sector is the largest in the European Union, comprising approximately 160,000 businesses and employing two million people. The UK is Europe’s leading centre for film production, the strongest European market for digital games production and has internationally renowned television and music industries. 

The UK is Europe’s largest music market, with sales of £928 million in 2009

(Source: BPI, 2010)

UK produced films achieved international revenues of US$ 2bn in 2009.

(Source: UK Film Council, 2010)

Assistance and Support For New Business Investors

The UK provides the best environment for companies to grow and succeed in international markets, offering a global gateway of connections. It is consistently ranked as the Number 1 destination in Europe for attracting foreign investment, and is a recognized leader in the field of innovation and creativity.

UK Trade & Investment is the specialist government organisation that supports foreign companies seeking to set up or expand in the UK, and helps UK-based companies to trade internationally.

The UK is forecast to have the strongest business environment of all major European economies for the period 2008 to 2012 and is the easiest place to set up and run a business in Europe.


Sector Optimised Support 

There are many key sectors and industries in the UK which offer great opportunities to businesses wanting to expand their horizons. Investors also have the option to set up their business in a range of regions throughout the UK.

Read our key facts brochure which gives a snapshot of the UK as an inward investment location and includes comparative facts and statistics on UK tax rates, investment trends, infrastructure and business costs.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with hundreds of firms each year to help them achieve their vision and expand their business into the UK. From high-tech start-ups, to global industry leaders, UKTI is there to help ensure that an investment in a UK base will help propel global growth and success.


Tailored Support for Business Growth 

UK Trade & Investment will help you make sound investment decisions based on our commercial expertise and unrivalled local access and knowledge. We can provide your business with:

  • Introductions to your sector networks industry leaders, universities, other centres of excellence and collaborative partnerships,
  • Bespoke information on key commercial considerations company formation,
  • Financial incentives
  • Advice on labour, real estate, transport, utilities and regulatory issues,
  • Regional analysis and informed advice to help you choose the right location, and a route into government to help your business grow further, faster.
Follow Me on Pinterest

Contact Details

+44 (0) 207 215 8000

Key Contacts:
UK Trade & Investment 66-74 Victoria Street Kingsgate House London


Newport: Has Developed a Broad & Diverse Base

Newport’s high level of investment, low cost base and numerous modern business parks have attracted a number of public sector institutions and charities to the city

read more

Maidstone: Largest Economy In Region

Maidstone is the economic hub of Kent, it is the largest office centre in Kent, with 11 established business parks and industrial estates.

read more

Contact locations4business

16 Hanover Square

If you have any comments or questions regarding locations4business, please fill in the contact form and we will contact you via e-mail within 3 business days.
Alternativley you can reach us on the number below.

Telephone: +44 (0)207 183 7680

Need info for your feasibility study or location search?

We provide location information for FREE. Please use the email form to request details.

Contact Form

Name *
Business Sector
Email *
Subject *
Your Message *