Overseas investment delivers jobs and opportunities for the South East

The past 12 months have created over 4,000 jobs for the South East of England from companies investing in the region from overseas, including 21 projects that will directly benefit Kent and Medway.

Statistics collated by the government’s Department for Business & Trade reveal the level of foreign direct investment (FDI) investment into the UK over the last financial year (2022-2023).

These figures show that across 130 projects attracted into the South East, 3,941 new jobs were created. In addition, the region attracted 17 net zero-related projects, which will create 237 jobs.

South East FDI projects in the area covered by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which includes Kent and Medway, Essex and East Sussex, delivered 32 FDI projects and around 800 jobs.

Kent and Medway attracted the highest in the South East LEP area, with 21 successful FDI investment in 2022/20023 creating 245 jobs. Twelve FDI projects in Essex resulted in 163 new jobs and the safeguarding of a further 110. Four FDI projects invested in East Sussex, with job numbers still to be confirmed.

Projects directly supported by Locate in Kent include a new Dartford facility for US-owned digital printing specialists ARC Document Solutions, creating 12 jobs and a £5.5m investment in a 24,000 sq ft new building in Chatham for Japanese fire detection systems manufacturer, Hochiki Corporation, adding 20 jobs. The company already has its European headquarters in Gillingham, employing 180 people.

Simon Ryan, investment director, Locate in Kent, said: “It’s great news that inward investment is continuing to be attracted into Kent and Medway, as well as the broader South East region.

“The economic outlook may seem downbeat at times, but these figures highlight the continued pipeline of jobs and opportunities coming through and Kent’s continued resilience and ability to deliver.

“Businesses and investors continue to be attracted by our strategic position between London and Europe, but also our diverse economy with significant employment sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, tourism and the creative industries.”

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