UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced £29.5bn ($36.8bn) worth of investments in the private sector ahead of the Global Investment Summit in London.
The government announcement comes with Sunak seeking to make Britain Europe’s top foreign direct investment (FDI) destination again. Last week, Sunak’s cabinet signed off permanent tax breaks for businesses to upgrade plants and machinery.
“Attracting global investment is at the heart of my plan for growing the economy,” Sunak said in a statement.
Among those to ramp up investment in the country, Australian IFM Investors, a global institutional investment manager, said it will devote £10bn in the UK by 2027. The sum is earmarked for “large-scale infrastructure and energy transition projects.”
Aware Super, another Australian fund, promised to allocate more than £5bn for projects in energy transition, affordable housing, life sciences, innovation technology and digital infrastructure.
Its CEO Deanne Steward said: “We are thrilled to announce our commitment to the UK, one of the world’s most important and vibrant capital markets, with the opening of our first international office.
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“The benefits arising from the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement, the ease of doing business in the UK, closely aligned culture, proximity to Europe and Northern America, and warm support from both the Department for Business & Trade and the City of London were also compelling factors in our decision to invest here,” Steward added.
From Europe, the Spain-based renewable energy company Iberdrola confirmed £7bn of investment, £500m of which will go into offshore wind infrastructure. This will lead to the creation of 400 new jobs.
Kemi Badenoch, UK’s Business & Trade Secretary, welcomed the investments, saying: “The £29.5 billion pledged today is yet another huge vote of confidence in our dynamic, pro-business and highly innovative economy and proves that our plan for growth is working.”
Sunak is expecting the investments to create more than 12,000 jobs in the future.
The Global Investment Summit is taking place today (27 November) at Hampton Court Palace. The event is expected to be attended by more than 200 CEOs, including big names such as JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman and Goldman Sachs’ David Solomon.
Since Brexit, the UK has been struggling to pull in investors from abroad. In 2021, seven out of twelve regions across the country registered net disinvestment, a parliamentary briefing published in June 2023 states. London managed to attract nearly half (45%) of the stock of inward FDI in the UK, with another 17% going to southeast England.