On Monday, the prime minister is set to host prominent business figures at Hampton Court to showcase the commitment of foreign companies to invest in the UK.
Rishi Sunak announced that these firms have pledged £29.5bn in new investments, characterizing it as a “significant vote of confidence” in the UK’s economic outlook.
The recent Autumn Statement introduced various measures aimed at boosting business investment, yet it unfolded against a backdrop of reduced growth forecasts.
While the measures primarily targeted domestic firms to address the UK’s lag in business investment compared to its G7 counterparts, the government asserted that the country remains robust in attracting foreign investment.
In contrast, the Labour party criticized the government, labeling its policies as a “complete failure” in fostering growth and business investment.
Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow trade and business secretary, lamented a lack of stability, consistency, and ambition over the past 13 years of Conservative governance, driving potential investors away.
Monday’s event at Hampton Court Palace, followed by a dinner at Buckingham Palace with King Charles III, is positioned as a historic celebration of the UK’s innovation journey, spanning from the steam train to quantum computing.
Dignitaries attending the event include global investment leaders like Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, David Solomon from Goldman Sachs, and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase.
Highlighting the UK’s strengths in innovation and thriving universities, Sunak emphasized sectors such as clean energy, life sciences, and advanced technology as areas where foreign investment is already fostering job creation and economic growth.
Several projects set to be confirmed include a £10bn investment from Australia’s IFM Investors in infrastructure and energy, as well as BioNTech’s commitment to constructing a new lab in Cambridge, the company renowned for pioneering the mRNA Covid vaccine.
The projects encompass a mix of newly announced investments and expansions of existing portfolios, showcasing a diverse range of commitments, from a £7bn boost in Spain’s Iberdrola investment in UK electricity to a £5bn investment from Australia’s Aware Super in energy transition and affordable housing, and a £2.5bn commitment from Microsoft in AI infrastructure.
Last Updated: 27 November 2023