UK announces almost £30b of private investment at CEO summit

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LONDON, Nov 27 — Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today announced £29.5 billion (US$37.2 billion) of private funding for new UK projects as more than 200 CEOs descended on London for the 2023 Global Investment Summit.

The UK government said the new investment would create 12,000 jobs “in our most innovative sectors, including tech, life sciences, renewables, housing and infrastructure.

“Today’s investments… are a huge vote of confidence in the future of the UK economy,” Sunak said in a statement before the opening of the event at Hampton Court Palace, just outside London.

“Attracting global investment is at the heart of my plan for growing the economy,” he added.

Investments announced today included £10 billion over the next four years from Australian fund IFM Investors “for large-scale infrastructure and energy transition projects”.

Spanish energy company Iberdrola announced £7 billion of funding for offshore wind infrastructure while US tech giant Microsoft plans to invest £2.5 billion in artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure, including data centres.

Germany’s BioNTech Laboratories will invest around £1 billion over 10 years, expanding its research and development activities with a new laboratory in Cambridge, eastern England, as well as a centre of expertise for Artificial Intelligence in London.

The announcements came as Japanese car giant Nissan said on Friday that it would inject up to £2 billion to build two new electric car models in the UK, as well as an additional gigafactory to produce batteries.

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt in last week’s budget announcement earmarked £4.5 billion in aid for strategic industrial sectors, including automotive, aerospace, green energy and life sciences.

It is the second edition of the summit, which was first held in 2021.

Sunak and Business & Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch opened the event, with CEOs in attendance including Stephen Schwarzman from Blackstone, Amanda Blanc from Aviva, David Soloman from Goldman Sachs and Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan Chase. — AFP

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