Scotland prime location for Japanese investment

Japanese firms enjoy record turnover of £187 million in Scotland.

Scotland is ripe for more investment and remains open for business, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop told Japanese investors in Tokyo today.

Ms Hyslop highlighted Scotland now has the highest number of foreign direct investment projects on record, while opportunities for business growth in Scotland remain strong – despite the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

With 85 Japanese-registered businesses operating in Scotland, Japan is Scotland’s 7th biggest source of direct investment. Collectively their turnover in Scotland last year was £1.489bn – a rise of £187 million.

Speaking at an event hosted by the British Embassy, Ms Hyslop said:

“With substantial natural resources, one of the most highly educated workforces in Europe, a long-standing reputation for innovation and world-renowned universities, Scotland is a highly attractive place to do business for Japanese companies.

“While in Tokyo and Nagasaki this week, I will meet current and potential investors to reassure them that while the EU referendum result has cast a cloud of uncertainty over trading relationships, Scotland remains a great place to invest.

“At almost £1.5 billion, direct investment in Scotland from Japan is at a record high with excellent prospects to grow even further.”

Earlier today Ms Hyslop met Kyowa Hakko Kirin, a research and development company who acquired ProStrakan in Galashiels in 2011. Their positive experience in Scotland means they recently announced an expansion of their headquarters, taking the number of employees in Scotland from 150 to 200 over the next five years.

While in Japan, Ms Hyslop is expected to discuss future plans with other current investors including Mitsubishi Electric and Reprocell.


There are 85 businesses in Scotland who have parent companies registered in Japan, with 210 local sites employing 6,250 and a turnover of £1.489bn (source: Scottish Government, ONS (IDBR), November 2016). This represents an increase of 520 local employees on 2015 figures and an additional £187m Scottish turnover.

The business reception at the British Embassy took place as part of a programme of activity delivered by Scottish Development International (SDI) and the Scottish Government.

Ms Hyslop’s programme of engagements runs from 13 to 17 February in both Tokyo and Nagasaki, and more will be announced throughout the coming week.

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