• Tuesday, July 23, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Sunak announces £29.5 billion private sector investments

Australian funds IFM Investors and Aware Super will pump £10 billion and £5 billion, respectively, into projects in UK

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tours the car manufacturer Nissan on November 24, 2023 in Sunderland, England. The Prime Minister and Chancellor visit the Japanese car manufacturer as they announce they will be building three new electric car models at its plant in Sunderland as part of a £2bn investment. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

By: easterneye.biz Staff

Prime minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a £29.5 billion ($36.76 billion) influx of private-sector investments in Britain. Following this announcement, he convened with global executives as part of his initiative to re-establish the country as the primary destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe

Australian funds IFM Investors and Aware Super will pump £10 billion  and £5 billion, respectively, into projects ranging from infrastructure and energy transition to affordable housing, Sunak’s Downing Street office said in a statement.

Spanish power giant Iberdrola IBE.MC will add £7 billion to its investment plans in Britain, which include transmission and distribution electricity networks, it said.

Other projects listed in the statement include a £2.5-billion investment in artificial intelligence infrastructure by Microsoft MSFT.O.

“Attracting global investment is at the heart of my plan for growing the economy,” Sunak said in the statement published ahead of his investment “summit” on Monday (27) at the 16th-century Hampton Court palace in London.

Britain, like many other countries, is seeking private sector investment to help overhaul its economy for the net-zero era and to build the kind of infrastructure that its stretched public finances cannot fund on their own.

But several major investors have said the political and regulatory uncertainty triggered by the 2016 Brexit referendum vote has diminished Britain’s appeal in recent years while other countries have made themselves more attractive for FDI.

France last year overtook Britain as the European country with the highest number of new FDI projects.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced 13 billion euros ($14.18 billion) of investment commitments in his country at a similar FDI gathering in May.

Sunak said new funding for industries such as clean energy, life sciences and advanced technology would create high-quality jobs across Britain.

Top financiers Stephen Schwarzman from Blackstone BX. N, David Solomon from Goldman Sachs, and Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan Chase JMP.N were due to attend Monday’s event.

Britain’s government acknowledges that it needs to do more to compete as laid out by a review launched after the country missed out on some high-profile investments.

Britain now lags France and Germany in perceived attractiveness for FDI, according to accountancy firm EY.

But it has had some recent successes including an announcement on Friday that Nissan7201.T about the electric cars it will build in northeast England.

Britain plans to set up a concierge service to help potential investors deal with the government.

“When a company comes to the UK government, it doesn’t want to have to deal with five different departments. It wants to deal with one person,” investment minister Dominic Johnson told Reuters ahead of Monday’s event at Hampton Court.

It would allow ministers to have “very strong, frank discussions with the international investment community about how we can make the environment more investable,” he said.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday announced long-term tax incentives to boost business investment which he hopes will help to speed up the country’s slow economy.

The £10-billion investment plans for the UK of IFM represented an increase from an original announcement, made last year, of £3 billion while all the other projects announced by the government were new, a government official said.

(Reuters)

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