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UK welcomes almost £30bn of investment ahead of Global Summit

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Global Investment Summit, at Hampton Court Palace. Nov. 27, 2023.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Global Investment Summit, at Hampton Court Palace. Nov. 27, 2023. Copyright Stefan Rousseau/Pool PA via AP
Copyright Stefan Rousseau/Pool PA via AP
By Euronews
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Thousands of jobs will be created as investors show a “vote of confidence” in the UK economy, says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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The UK government claims it has earmarked £29.5 billion of funding for “innovative” projects, sealing the UK’s reputation as “one of the best places in the world to do business”.

The money will notably support schemes related to tech, life sciences, renewables, housing, and infrastructure.

Tech giant Microsoft and German vaccine maker BioNTech are just two of the companies that have promised to invest.

A significant bid comes from the Australian firm, IFM Investors, which has pledged to spend £10 billion (€9.1 billion) on infrastructure and energy transition projects over the next four years.

Spanish energy company Iberdrola has also planned to boost their prior investments in the UK by £7 billion between 2026 to 2028, money which will focus on offshore wind projects and electricity infrastructure.

These funding announcements are being billed as a win for the Conservative Party’s “levelling up” policy, a strategy that aims to spread investment across the UK and improve living standards in poorer areas.

According to the government, the investment will create 12,000 new jobs throughout the country.

This follows the launch of the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan, a £4.5 billion scheme that aims to secure extra cash for areas like the North East of England - where car manufacturer Nissan has just invested £2 billion.

The Hampton Court Summit

The funding announcement comes ahead of the Global Investment Summit, held today in London’s Hampton Court Palace.

More than 200 executives are expected to attend, including Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon, JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman and Aviva’s Amanda Blanc.

Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds Bank are sponsoring the event, which will celebrate “British Ideas - Past, Present and Future”.

Good news amid economic gloom?

It’s unclear whether the pledged investment will boost gloomy economic predictions for the UK.

Last week, the national forecaster - the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) - estimated UK growth at 0.6% this year and 0.7% next year.

This is a downgrade from the 1.8% and 2.5% predicted in March.

With the autumn statement, also unveiled last week, the UK’s finance minister Jeremy Hunt will be hoping to brighten these forecasts.

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Hunt has pledged tax cuts for businesses, a slash to National Insurance contributions, and a reform of the welfare system to get more unemployed people into work.

The OBR expects Hunt’s measures to raise economic output by 0.3% of GDP in the medium term and to bring “a small but lasting benefit to the supply side of the economy”.

Will the promises materialise?

In October 2021, an investment summit was held by then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson at London’s Science Museum.

At the event, the government announced £9.7 billion worth of projects in the UK, but most of these schemes are still in progress.

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It’s also important to note that some of the projects showcased at this year’s summit have previously been announced, but investors are now attaching a number to them.

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