A record number of foreign direct investment jobs have been created in the Manchester city region, according to latest figures released by inward investment agency Midas.
Within its 2009/2010 results, Midas said 3,655 foreign direct investment jobs were created in the past year, spread over 56 projects, which was an increase from the 30 projects in 2008/2009.
In total, Midas said it had been involved in creating 3,609 new jobs and had safeguarded a further 1,350 existing jobs, bringing the total number of jobs created and safeguarded to 4,959 and the total number of successful projects to 94, which was an increase of 13% on last year's figure of 83 projects.
Michael Oglesby, chairman of Midas, said: "Midas has again out-performed against all its challenging targets, enhancing Manchester's position as a world class location of choice for major private and public sector employers.
"No one is expecting the coming year to be an easy one and the need for Manchester's voice to be heard worldwide whenever jobs and relocation are being considered has never been greater. We are, however, optimistic and there are positive signs for us to attract yet more jobs and investment in the coming year."
Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the North West Development Agency, added: "We are delighted at the figures recorded by Midas, particularly given the difficult economic conditions and we hope this gives us a good indication to the UKTI Foreign Direct Investment statistics which come out in July. The NWDA and Midas have worked hard on a number of projects in the past year, such as UK Data Capture, which have really helped drive the numbers to a record level."
"The NWDA is also working hard with the UKTI, to develop the international competitiveness of Manchester and the region and we shall continue to focus our efforts on good quality foreign investment but we are realistic and we know that the year ahead will also be a challenging one."
New inward investment successes that Midas has been involved with include John Lewis, Sky, UK Data Capture, Societe Generale and SPX, an American-based multi-industry manufacturing group with operations worldwide.
Midas said one of these organisations, SPX, chose Manchester as the location for a major Shared Service Centre for its pan-European operations creating 160 new jobs.
Mary Sczudlo, vice-president, chief financial officer for Global Shared Services at SPX, said: "Midas proved to us that Manchester has everything we need to make the SSC a success – the location, the infrastructure with excellent transport connectivity overseas and most importantly, the existing SSCs and highly impressive talent pool.
Midas said, geographically, that the highest number of jobs and investment has come from America at 41%, followed by the rest of the UK at 26%, the EU at 21% and important new markets such as India at 7%.
Oglesby added: "These are all factors that have won Manchester global recognition, including a coveted top twenty rating for investment projects in the influential IBM Global Location Trends Survey, being named Europe's most Competitive City by KPMG International and as 'The Most Admired Knowledge City Region' at the MAKCi global awards ceremony in Schenzen, China."