Some really positive news that investment into Wales continues to grow. The latest provisional results also show that more than 6,000 jobs were created or safeguarded.
This recognises the faith that companies continue to put in the our skills and values in Wales. I will do my best to make sure that here in Newport we have the best possible conditions to attract the right, well paid jobs.
Speaking ahead of attending today’s launch of the International Festival for Business 2016, The Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates said:
“This is another positive year for inward investment in Wales as we continue to win record-breaking levels of investment.
“Project numbers are the second best on record, beaten only by the previous year’s exceptional results. We are attracting new investment from high quality companies like Aston Martin and re-investment from global businesses like General Dynamics and Raytheon that are creating a substantial number of new, highly skilled, well paid jobs and career opportunities.
“The value to the Welsh economy from these investments is at least £660m creating wider economic benefits, jobs and new business opportunities for Welsh companies through supply chains.
“These inward investment projects were from companies based in 23 countries around the world. They could have chosen to invest anywhere in the world but opted for Wales. It is a clear indication of the regard in which Wales is held as a business location and that the pro-business approach of the Welsh Government is paying dividends.”
The largest project and one of the most high profile investments was from Aston Martin that is to manufacture its new DBX crossover vehicle in Wales and create more than 750 highly-skilled jobs at St Athan, with a further 1000 jobs being created across the supply chain and local businesses as a direct result of the investment.
The new manufacturing centre was secured with support from Welsh Government against fierce competition from more than 20 other potential locations worldwide.
Aston Martin CEO Dr Andrew Palmer said:
"Aston Martin’s decision to invest in Wales for the DBX crossover came after a lengthy global study. Wales won through for their ability to meet our demanding requirements on quality, cost and delivery of the project at the St Athan site.
“Since announcing the project, we have been consistently impressed with the quality of the local workforce applying to work at Aston Martin and the engagement from the Welsh Government to help us in the early stages of setting up this new facility.”
Mr Skates is visiting Raytheon UK today to hear how an inward investment at the company’s Deeside facility has created 50 jobs and is having a much wider positive impact on the supply chain in North Wales.
Raytheon are now in advanced talks with two Wales based companies with a view to them becoming part of the long term Raytheon supply chain with potentially multi-million pound contracts. He said Raytheon UK was a great example of how inward investment can create direct and indirect benefits for the Welsh economy.
Roger Shone, General Manager, Raytheon UK, said:
“Between April 2015 and March 2016 our head count has increased from 66 to 116 permanent employees and 16 long term contractors. During this period Welsh Government has provided us with support and assistance in support of our growth plans."
The provisional inward investment figures follow the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement last week that more than 40,000 jobs were supported by the Welsh Government in 2015/16 - 5.3% more jobs than in 2014-15.
Recording breaking tourism figures also showed Wales attracted 10.45 million overnight visits from GB residents in 2015. This was 4.5% up on 2014 figures when the number of visitors exceeded 10 million for the first time.
Mr Skates added that employment is now at a record high and has risen faster in Wales than any other part of the UK, while unemployment has fallen faster in Wales than anywhere else and is substantially below that in Scotland and the UK as whole.
The UK Government's inward investment and export assist arm UKTI is expected to shortly publish its own data for inward investment projects for the regions and nations of the UK.