ASIAN and American companies invested heavily in the British technology sector during the first seven months of 2019.
During the seven-month period, the sector attracted $6.7 billion (£5.5bn) from foreign investors, of which over half of the investments were from Asia and the US, the department of digital, culture, media and sport said on Wednesday (21).
The two regions spent $3.7bn during the January to July period overtaking the $2.9bn spent in 2018.
Commenting on the latest figures, Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “All the signs indicate 2019 will be another great year for the UK’s tech sector, which is on course to exceed $11bn worth of investment before the end of the year.”
A weaker pound is seen to be attracting overseas investors to the UK technology sector, which is the fastest-growing sector in Europe, according to market analysts.
Writing in The Telegraph, the digital secretary added: “Companies such as energy supplier OVO Energy and supply chain finance firm Greensill attracted more than £1bn investment from Japan while fintech firm Checkout.com received $230m from American venture capital company Insight Partners.”
The latest data has come when the overall foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Britain are declining amid Brexit uncertainties.
According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, FDI moved down to a six-year low in June.
A steep rise in foreign investments has boosted the number of people employed in the British digital sector.
According to Tech Nation, the British digital economy, with 2.1 million employees, is now a larger employer than sectors such as hospitality, with 1.3 million people, and financial services, which employs 1.2 million people.
Companies in the sector are spreading wealth and prosperity by creating high-paying, high-skilled technical jobs alongside new opportunities in non-technical roles, Morgan said.
In Belfast, for example, tech vacancies now account for almost one in four of total job vacancies. There are more opportunities in cities with strong sectors such as Glasgow and Leeds, she added.