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New figures reveal that Scotland attracted 183 inward investment projects in 2016-17 which led to over 5,500 new jobs being created north of the border.

This compared to 2015-16, when there were 108 foreign investment projects north of the border, bringing 4,178 jobs.

The data from the UK's International Trade Department also showed that Scotland secured the third biggest number of foreign investment projects of the UK's 12 nations and regions after London and the southeast of England.

The news comes as the Scottish labour market has seen a sharp improvement in job levels, with increases in permanent employment.

Demand for temporary and permanent staff is now at a historically high level.

IT and computing saw the largest rise in vacancies in June. Engineering and construction were also top performing sectors.

Scottish recruitment consultancies also reported steep increases in vacancies.

Commenting, Patricia Gibson said:

“These results are great news for Scotland. As world leaders across a range of sectors including life sciences, oil and gas and financial services.

"Scotland continues to be an attractive destination for foreign investors who recognise that our skills and world class industries are second to none.

“We want this trend to continue and see even more investment, much of which is thanks to the hard work of Scottish Development International."

Sectors that performed particularly well include technology, renewable energy, life sciences and the creative industries which all saw an increase in the number of projects.

SNP Government Employment Secretary Keith Brown MSP added:

“With 183 foreign direct investment projects, an increase of 69% on the year before, Scotland remains the most successful place in the UK for inward investment projects outside of London and the southeast.

“The SNP Government will continue to seek potential investors and support Scottish Development International to attract inward investment to Scotland."

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