The UK celebrates $37 billion in foreign investment

Written by Alistair Smout

LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced 29.5 billion pounds ($36.8 billion) of investments in Britain’s private sector on Monday during a meeting of global executives aimed at returning the country to Europe’s top spot as a destination for foreign money.

After the government last week offered permanent tax breaks to companies to upgrade their factories and machinery, Sunak hopes his courtship of foreign investors will help revive Britain’s moribund economy.

Downing Street said in a statement that Australian funds IFM Investors and Aware Super will invest £10 billion and £5 billion, respectively, in projects ranging from infrastructure and energy transition to affordable housing.

He added that the Spanish energy giant Iberdrola will add 7 billion pounds to its investment plans in the United Kingdom, which include electricity transmission and distribution networks.

Microsoft will also invest £2.5 billion in AI infrastructure.

“Your decision to choose to invest in the United Kingdom is a huge vote of confidence in the future of our country,” Sunak said in his speech at the investment summit held at Hampton Court Palace in London, which dates back to the 16th century.

Like many other countries, the UK is seeking private sector investment to help it reform its economy for the net zero era and build the kind of infrastructure its faltering public finances cannot fund on their own.

However, many major investors noted that the political and regulatory uncertainty caused by the 2016 Brexit referendum, and subsequent political turmoil, had reduced the UK’s attractiveness, while other countries had become more attractive for FDI inflows.

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(Writing by William Schomberg and Alistair Smoot; Editing in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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