Rishi Sunak hails global investment in UK at Hampton Court summit

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak opening the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace. Credit: PA

Rishi Sunak has welcomed hundreds of business figures to a summit at Hampton Court Palace, after putting efforts to attract global investment at the “heart” of his growth plan.

After opening the summit on Monday, the prime minister also said the UK was open to foreign business talent despite Tory pressure to cut record levels of net migration.

Mr Sunak will mingle with top chief executives and investors at the Global Investment Summit, which comes days after the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt used the Autumn Statement to cut taxes for businesses.

The prime minister joined Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch to open the summit on Monday, which is being attended by bosses from Blackstone, Aviva, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase amongst others.

The UK’s “low-tax” approach is one of the three biggest advantages to investing, Mr Sunak said as he addressed the audience. "When I say that this country can be the best place in the world to invest in to do business you should believe me because of three big competitive advantages that we have – our low tax approach, our culture of innovation, and our people.” He added: “The purest expression of this Government’s economic philosophy is that people and businesses make far better decisions about their own money than any government could. “And I believe that allowing you to keep more of the return on your capital, our country becomes more competitive as a place to invest, grow and create jobs. “And make no mistake, we are cutting taxes. Not only do we have the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7. “Last week, we announced that we would make full expensing permanent. That means you can write off the cost of many capital investments in full. It makes our capital allowances regime one of the most generous in the world and it was the biggest business tax cut in modern Britain.”

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch (right) listens as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on his plans for net-zero commitments. Credit: PA

A total of £29.5 billion has been committed by global investors in the UK, triple the sum raised at the last global investment gathering in 2021.

Ms Badenoch said the investment was a “huge vote of confidence” in the UK economy.

Among those was Australia’s IFM Investors, which will sign a memorandum of understanding with the department with the intention to invest £10 billion over the next four years for large-scale infrastructure and energy projects. BioNTech, which developed the mRNA-based Covid vaccine with Pfizer, has committed to a new lab in Cambridge, as well as a centre of expertise for artificial intelligence in London. Ministers also announced plans for a new expert panel to look into how to best create a UK corporate re-domiciliation regime, to make it easier for foreign firms to relocate here. The Government has hailed the opportunities for thousands of jobs to be created as a result of the new investments. A reception is also scheduled to take place later at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the King. Labour said that the last 13 years have been a “total failure on growth and business investment”. Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “The past 13 years of Conservative government have been marked by a complete lack of stability, consistency and ambition which has turned potential investors away from Britain. “Only Labour has the plans to create the step change needed, working in partnership with business and investors, through our Industrial Strategy, Green Prosperity Plan and commitment to get Britain building again.”

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