FTI scoops £2.5m global account to boost Scottish economy

FTI Consulting has been awarded a £2.5m contract to promote Scotland as a top business destination across the globe.

Edinburgh: A centre for life sciences and biotech in Scotland
Edinburgh: A centre for life sciences and biotech in Scotland

Scottish Development International, a joint venture between the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, has awarded FTI a four-year contract to support foreign investment into the country.

The global account brings together work that was previously split among a number of agencies on a regional basis.

The strategic comms arm of FTI has worked to promote Scotland as a business destination in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the past two years, with Edelman previously handling Asia Pacific and DCI Group in the US.

FTI will now have sole responsibility for providing international PR support to SDI’s 30 overseas trade and investment offices. According to tender documents, the agency will look to "raise the profile of Scotland as an innovation nation to a C-Suite business audience and their sphere of influencers".

Jane Martin, Scottish Enterprise’s director of marketing and comms, stated: "A single global contract offers us a much more flexible and cost-effective approach to promoting Scotland’s offer in key international markets.

"We will be more able to deliver global communications strategies to raise awareness of those sectors and sub-sectors where Scotland has a strong competitive advantage and to shift resources when we need to. This will enable us to get the most out of the best opportunities to build Scotland’s reputation as an attractive location for trade and investment.

"We’re also anticipating savings of several hundred-thousand pounds over the life of this contract by delivering in this way."

It is understood that the newly integrated global contract reflects a recent restructure at SDI, which merged its domestic and international teams.

An Ernst & Young UK Attractiveness Survey, published in June, highlighted that Scotland was once again the top performing region in the UK outside London for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2012.

 In 2012, Scotland secured 76 new projects - an increase of 49% on 2011 and the highest level of projects in 15 years.

Six agencies pitched for the framework, which specified a "full service communications agency capable of undertaking trade and investment-led public relations campaigns and activities in multiple languages/markets".

SDI's overseas strategy is to attract high value jobs focusing on sectors including renewables, oil and gas, life sciences, food and drink, advanced technology and engineering.

It is thought SDI and FTI will in particular look to take advantage of the high profile sporting events taking place in Scotland next year, including the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.

FTI’s work will be globally co-ordinated out of London, New York and Singapore, and will span all 20 countries in which SDI currently has a presence.

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