Scotland is the most attractive region in the UK for inward investment after London. The economy is strong in research & development, manufacturing and financial services, underpinned by innovation and high levels of employee retention.

Expanding your business

Scotland is home to 5 higher education institutes ranking in the global top 200. Set up and operating costs are low, with property and salary costs up to 40% lower than London.

Investing capital

There’s great potential for growth in sectors including aerospace, financial services and life sciences. 25% of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal resource is in Scotland. Renewables offer billions of GBP of opportunities with government support.

Buying goods and services

Exports of chemicals from Scotland averaged 4 billion GBP over the last five years. There are more than 500 contact centres and global business services companies. The digital media sector is at the forefront of innovation in applications, music, TV, publishing and games.

952 million GBP

overseas investment in Scotland in 2017

Over 20 billion GBP

invested in Scotland’s transport infrastructure and services


people employed in construction sector

5.4 million



universities ranked in the world’s top 1%


of young people participated in higher education


life sciences organisations employ more than 30,000 people


unemployment rate in October 2017

Strategic markets: property, tourism and leisure

Office market

Demand keeps growing for grade A offices in Scotland’s main cities. Glasgow city centre experienced a record year for the office investment market in 2017 with over 460 million GBP transacted.


The private rented sector has doubled in size over the last 15 years in Scotland. Strong demand, constrained supply and limited pipeline are expected to stimulate rental value growth of between 2% and 4% per annum.

Tourism and leisure

Edinburgh has one of the highest hotel occupancy rates in Europe and is the second most visited tourist destination in the UK after London. Glasgow’s SSE Hydro entertainment venue is the third busiest in the world for its size. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow is the third best performing arts institute in the world.

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Contact our expert team in China to learn more about how DIT can support your business.