International business leaders have pledged £29.5 billion to bolster Britain's economy, a significant endorsement for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ahead of his global investment summit being held today (27 November).
Prominent US and German firms, including Microsoft and BioNTech, have committed to multi-billion pound investments in the UK. Key sectors such as technology, renewable energy, and scientific research are poised to benefit from this influx.
The Prime Minister announced this substantial investment package on Sunday, just prior to hosting over 200 chief executives and investors at Hampton Court Palace for the summit.
High-profile Wall Street figures, including David Solomon of Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase, and Stephen Schwarzman from Blackstone, will be in attendance.
This year's summit, themed "British Ideas - Past, Present and Future", will culminate in a reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by King Charles.
Mr Sunak hailed the £29.5 billion investment as a testament to confidence in the UK economy, predicting the creation of 12,000 jobs. He emphasised the UK's attractiveness for global investment, central to his economic growth strategy.
The government is actively seeking foreign investment to stimulate growth, especially following a period of economic stagnation from July to September.
Significant contributions include a £10 billion commitment from Australian pension fund IFM Investors for infrastructure and energy transition projects, and a £2.5 billion investment by Microsoft in the UK's AI infrastructure, focusing on data centres and graphics processing units.
BioNTech, the German firm renowned for its pioneering mRNA Covid vaccine, will invest £1 billion over a decade, establishing a new laboratory in Cambridge and an AI centre in London.
Iberdrola, a Spanish renewable energy company, has confirmed an additional £7 billion investment in the UK's renewable energy sector, as part of a larger £12 billion investment programme slated for 2024 to 2028.
The UK's renewable energy sector has seen remarkable growth recently, with investment soaring from £19 billion to £55 billion between 2021 and 2022, a 189% increase.
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch highlighted the UK's appeal to investors, citing its vision, innovation, and growth. She noted the UK's position as the world's third-largest recipient of inward investment, with a total of $2.7 trillion.
This wave of investment follows the government's recent unveiling of a new Advanced Manufacturing Plan, providing £4.5 billion in funding across various sectors from 2025 to 2030.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement featured several business tax cuts, including permanent "full expensing". However, some critics argue that these measures insufficiently compensate for the corporation tax increase implemented in April, which saw the headline rate rise from 19% to 25% for businesses with annual profits over £250,000.