The speech made by Kemi Badenoch, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, at Hampton Court on 27 November 2023.
Good morning Ladies & Gentlemen and welcome to the 2023 Global Investment Summit.
Thank you to everyone who has travelled from across the globe to be here today to mark the next chapter in this country’s future.
Two years ago at our inaugural Global Investment Summit, we were still in the throes of a pandemic, yet investors put a near £10 billion vote of confidence in our country because they saw the huge potential for growth that we had to offer.
It sowed the seeds for our hugely successful Northern Ireland Investment Summit in September which put Belfast and Northern Ireland firmly on the global boardroom map.
And as a growing science and technology superpower, the Prime Minister held our first-ever AI Summit earlier this month to ensure the UK is at the forefront of a pioneering world of artificial intelligence.
Now, it won’t come as news for many of you in this room, but the UK is already a fantastic place to invest. That’s why you’re here.
We are now third in the world for total inward investment, currently standing at $2.7 trillion, and are the top destination in Europe for FDI projects. We have attracted more greenfield FDI than Germany and France combined.
We also have the most valuable tech sector, only the third in the world to reach $1 trillion in value.
Last year alone we created 112,000 jobs in all corners of the UK from inward investment, with many more being created here today.
Since the Department for Business & Trade was formed just a few months ago, we have seen even greater investment in this country.
In my first few days as Business Secretary, I ushered in a momentous deal for Airbus and Rolls-Royce providing new aircraft for Air India.
In September, BMW announced a transformation of their Oxford Mini plant which secured 4,000 jobs, with Stellantis pledging £100 million for electric vehicles at Ellesmere Port.
Our investment minister Lord Johnson signed a £10 billion MoU with Marubeni just last month for green projects.
Tata Group have pledged £4 billion to create a new gigafactory site in Somerset which will transform our battery supply chains and create thousands of jobs.
And last week, we saw £21 billion of Korean investment in renewable energy, life sciences and tech during the South Korea State Visit.
And on Friday we secured £2 billion from Nissan for their sites in Sunderland, which will help secure thousands of jobs.
And that’s not to mention the global leadership we are showing in free and fair trade.
Such as joining the CPTPP trading bloc, ushering in our first post-Brexit free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, and unlocking £6.5 billion of fresh export opportunities across 75 markets in the last year alone.
We’re also taking huge steps to ensure that the UK’s manufacturing sector is a world leader in innovation.
Yesterday I launched our £3 billion Advanced Manufacturing Plan which will invest in the long-term future of our innovative manufacturing industry by reducing costs and removing barriers to business.
This comes off the back of the UK’s manufacturing sector leapfrogging France to become the eighth biggest in the world.
But we cannot stand still. The world is changing fast, and the global economy is a very competitive place.
Just months ago our historic trade deal with Australia came into force – since then we’ve secured £10 billion from IFM Investors and £5 billion from Aware Super to turbocharge green transition, infrastructure, tech and life science projects, as well as £100 million from Patrizia for sustainable housing projects.
As part of a total £12 billion programme, Ibedrola have today confirmed £7 billion for our world-leading renewables sector, with Partner Groups’ portfolio companies North Star and Gren committing £1 billion and £500 million for new offshore wind infrastructure and community energy projects respectively.
And the UK tech scene continues its world-leading charge, with combined investments totalling nearly £6 billion from Microsoft, BioNTech, Yondr, the Ellison Institute, Aira, Oxford Quantum Circuits and MediaTek.
These investments total nearly £30 billion – a colossal vote of confidence in the UK, proving further how we are one of the best places in the world to invest.
But I want to take this further.
I want the UK to be even more innovative, even more dynamic and even more successful. I want business to look at the UK and see it as a dynamo for investment, free trade and growth.
I have said that my door is always open. My office is called the Department for Business.
I want your ideas on how we can create a more friendly common-sense regulatory environment; what things we should be doing differently rather than sticking to the status quo.
I want to move away from just seeing regulation as the solution, and focus instead on solving your problems.
The numbers speak for themselves, and at today’s summit you will see why we’re already on the path to even greater things.
I’m delighted to welcome the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to the stage to tell us more.