British FDI and exports have been accelerated by the London Olympics, according to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the government body that focuses on international trade.

UKTI announced mid-November that the economic benefit of the country’s Olympic legacy had already surpassed its £11bn target, a goal that was initially projected to be achieved no earlier than mid-2016.


The overall direct impact of the Olympics on FDI is difficult to establish and UKTI does not disclose data focusing specifically on crossborder investments resulting from the Olympics. However, FDI influx to London is at a record high, data from fDi Markets show. A total of 364 new projects recorded in 2011 was the highest since fDi Markets started measuring crossborder investments to the city in 2003. Meanwhile, 2012 brought 359 investments and a record high capital expenditure of $12.7bn; 136% higher than the year before.

The £11bn-plus benefit from the Olympics quoted by UKTI comprises new foreign investments, additional sales and contract wins. Contract wins accounted for more than £130m in deals won by companies, mostly small and medium enterprises, to work on projects connected to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Architectural and engineering firms seem to be among the companies that benefit the most from the legacy of the London Olympics. Among notable wins secured by British companies is a deal to design the velodrome at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro by Arup, a London-based engineering company, and 3D Reid, an architectural firm with offices in London, Birmingham and Glasgow. And London-headquartered AND Architects and its Brazilian partner, Lopes Santos Architects, were chosen to design a handball arena for the Rio Olympics.

To boost the impact of the London Olympics on trade and investment in the UK, UKTI launched the Global Investment Conference on the eve of the games. It also ran the British Business Embassy, a series of business summits attended by more than 4000 firms in the summer of 2012.