Scotland’s inward investment strengths – including its digital technology industries – are to be globally showcased at a major three-day conference which kicked off in Edinburgh today.

The World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) 2022 will bring together hundreds of industry leaders, policymakers and investors to discuss the latest insights, trends and developments regarding corporate expansion strategies and global investment.

Taking place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), the event will feature panel discussions on sectors critical to Scotland’s economy, such as health tech, software, digital industries, and a just transition.

Scottish Development International (SDI) – the international arm of the Scottish Government and Scotland’s enterprise agencies – has worked with event organisers to being the forum to Edinburgh. It says the conference will provide a “valuable opportunity” to highlight Scotland’s ongoing ability to attract innovative and world leading international projects, with the country continuing to be the most attractive location in the UK outside of London for foreign direct investment.

It will also explore the impact of global issues, such as Covid-19 and international talent attraction, on investment levels.

Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said he was thrilled to see Scotland host the event for the first time.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to promote Scotland and for our international audience to see and hear at first-hand what we offer as a leading investment destination. We will generate valuable global connections over the next few days and further increase Scotland’s stature as a location for inward investment.

 “The combination of our world-class workforce, leading universities, supportive business environment, amazing natural resources and the unparalleled quality of life on offer here makes Scotland an incredible proposition to global companies. 

“We cannot wait to share that story, and our commitment to a values-driven approach to attract investment, to all of those attending the 2022 World Forum for FDI.”

The forum, organised in partnership with US firm Conway Data, will welcome senior representatives from some of the leading companies based in Scotland, including Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), Celtic Renewables and EY.

Scottish Government trade minister Ivan McKee will open the forum.

Mr McKee said: “Scotland’s economic potential is huge, and as set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, we want to build on that potential to make a world-class entrepreneurial nation, encouraging entrepreneurial activity in every sector of our economy.

“Foreign direct investment is a key driver for economic growth, creating a more open and outward facing economy.  This Forum provides a unique opportunity to ensure Scotland works with like-minded countries and investors to promote a wellbeing economy and rise to the challenge of the climate emergency.”

Also at the event, SDI will be unveiling a series of new “extended reality” investment propositions to promote strategic investment sites in Scotland. The new proposition films will support its investment attraction strategy by allowing investors to really see for the first time what their project might look like in Scotland.

The extended reality approach combines 360-degree video footage, CGI and compelling images to create a fully immersive video experience which visually communicates the assets, talent, connections and infrastructure which will help investors to see a future in Scotland.