In November, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted a summit at Hampton Court to spotlight foreign firms’ plans to invest £29.5 billion in the UK, signalling confidence in the economy.
Despite recent setbacks like the cancellation of HS2, the attendance of global leaders at the summit and Nissan’s recent £2bn electric car investment in Sunderland highlight ongoing international interest in the UK.
In his Autumn Statement on 22 November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt introduced several measures to stimulate domestic business investment amid lower growth forecasts. While the policies were met with some criticism, the OECD notes a rise in UK foreign direct investment to $14bn (£11bn) in 2022.
The summit focuses on the UK’s strengths in innovation, “thriving” universities and key sectors like clean energy and technology.
Notable attendees such as Jamie Dimon emphasised the Government’s commitment to growth and foreign direct investment. Ongoing discussions may confirm substantial commitments, including a £10bn investment from IFM Investors and Microsoft’s £2.5bn in AI infrastructure.
While the summit underscored the UK’s appeal, challenges persist, highlighting the need for ongoing efforts to enhance stability and business-friendly policies.
Commenting on the modest economic outlook for the UK, business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said the UK is dealing with “the same problems” as many countries around the world, noting the economy was “doing well despite significant headwinds”.
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