Despite Brexit and current inflationary pressures, the UK continues to be recognised as a leading centre for foreign investment and as a springboard for businesses seeking global growth, according to a new e-book published by Hawksford, a Jersey-headquartered global service provider.

Highlighting that the UK remains the sixth largest global economy by gross domestic product (GDP), the e-book, which brings together data from a range of independent sources, underlines the importance of the UK’s extensive tax treaty network, political stability and well-regarded judicial system as key attributes in attracting businesses looking to implement international expansion plans.

In particular, UK government figures show that, between 2021 to 2022 a total of 1,589 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects landed in the UK, adding more than 84,000 new jobs to the economy across diverse sectors including software and computer services, environment, infrastructure and transportation, and financial services.

When it comes to setting up, scaling and growing a business, the analysis points to the UK’s mature, high-spending consumer market and its open, liberal economy, world-class talent and a business-friendly regulatory environment as key drivers. In addition, the UK offers a number of structuring options, including companies and partnerships, and provides an attractive environment for international holding companies.

The e-book also, however, identifies a number of challenges specific to the UK, including the need to understand tax and reporting obligations, have an insight into company incorporation and bank account opening processes, and be able to navigate a unique employment market.

Commenting on the guide, Rebecca Cox, Managing Director, Corporate Services – UK at Hawksford, said:

“A number of headwinds, including Brexit and wider economic volatility, have made the landscape more complex – but the clear message to come out of our analysis is that the UK has the right tools to be able to support cross-border business growth. All businesses considering expanding their operations internationally need to have an understanding of local practices and compliance. It can make a huge difference to their initial experience and ongoing success – and that is especially true for the UK, where doing business comes with some unique benefits and challenges. Planning is an absolutely critical part of the expansion and growth process.”

Winnie Seow Mei, Asia Market Lead at Hawksford, added:

“Despite the ongoing global market uncertainty, we continue to see a real appetite from businesses to pursue ambitious international growth strategies – certainly in the Asian market, there is a real drive towards expanding and scaling up in Western markets across multiple sectors, from manufacturing to retail to medtech. Whether a start-up, medium-sized or family business, corporate or an institutional investor, our e-book illustrates just how the UK can support the realisation of those international business ambitions.”

Hawksford’s new ‘Doing Business in the UK’ e-book forms part of a series of analyses and guides looking at the corporate and investment landscape in key centres worldwide.

You can download a copy of the guide here.