Globtec Group

Sunak welcomes foreign firms’ £29.5bn ‘vote of confidence’

Sunak welcomes foreign firms’ £29.5bn ‘vote of confidence’

The prime minister will host a group of leading business figures on Monday at Hampton Court to highlight foreign firms’ plans to invest in the UK.

Rishi Sunak said £29.5bn of new investment had been promised, which he described as a “huge vote of confidence” in the UK economy.

Last week’s Autumn Statement included a raft of measures to encourage more business investment.

But it came against a backdrop of lower growth forecasts.

The Autumn Statement measures were largely designed to persuade domestic firms to invest more, an area in which the UK has been lagging behind its G7 peers.

However, the government said the UK’s track record on attracting foreign investment remained strong.

Labour, on the other hand, said the government’s policies had been a “total failure” when it came to growth and business investment.

“The past 13 years of Conservative government has been marked by a complete lack of stability, consistency and ambition which has turned potential investors away from Britain,” Jonathan Reynolds, shadow trade and business secretary, said.

On Monday the government will be rolling out the red carpet at Hampton Court Palace – where King Henry VIII famously stepped away from day-to-day business matters to enjoy feasting and jousting – for what the government says will be an “historic” event, celebrating the UK’s track record in innovation, “from the steam train to quantum computing”.

It will be followed by a dinner with King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

Some of those attending are themselves deemed global investment royalty. They include Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive of investment group Blackstone, David Solomon from Goldman Sachs and Jamie Dimon at JP Morgan Chase.

“Global CEOs are right to back Britain – we are making this the best place in the world to invest and do business,” Mr Sunak said.

Mr Sunak pointed to the UK’s “culture of innovation and thriving universities” and highlighted “clean energy, life sciences and advanced technology” as key areas where he said inward investment was already creating jobs and driving growth.

Among the projects that will be confirmed on Monday are a £10bn investment from Australia’s IFM Investors into infrastructure and energy projects and a commitment to build a new lab in Cambridge from BioNTech, the firm which pioneered the mRNA Covid vaccine.

Some of the sums on the list of projects that are being announced at the summit are ones that investors had previously announced, and which are now ready to attach a specific investment figure to. Others, such as IFM’s investments, have already begun, and future investment sums are now being clarified. Other firms are adding new investments to existing portfolios.

Among the projects being highlighted are a £7bn boost to the amount Spain’s Iberdrola is investing in UK electricity transmission and distribution; a £5bn investment from Australia’s Aware Super in a range of businesses including the energy transition and affordable housing; and a £2.5bn from Microsoft in AI infrastructure.


Avatar photo