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Business, government must work together to secure global recovery: Prime Minister says

24 February 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today that international business and government should work together to secure a global recovery in 2010.

The Prime Minister is hosting the Global Investment Conference, a gathering of 250 world business leaders, academics and entrepreneurs in London, including international companies such as Ford, Hitachi, Bombardier, China Merchants Bank, Burberry, and Lockheed Martin.

In the South East alone, investment from foreign companies created and safeguarded almost 98,000 jobs in the last decade. On average, over 30 companies per week invest in the UK, the number one country in Europe at attracting inward investment.

The gathering of global business leaders to discuss growth and investment comes less than 12 months after the world’s political leaders met in London for the G20 summit to talk about how to rescue the global economy.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

“If 2009 was the year of global recession, then 2010 must be the year of global recovery.

“This is not about a partnership of governments or a partnership of international business, but a partnership of international business and government. It is about how together we can lock in the recovery and grasp the opportunities of the future.”

At the conference, organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), ministers will announce:

  • the publication of a draft Tax Framework for Business designed to increase tax certainty for business on the Government's approach to the development of tax policy;
  • an Investors' Charter, which sets out the UK Government's support for and commitment to investors;
  • the launch of an interactive, online map for investors, highlighting UK excellence, in March 2010;
  • the introduction of a highly trusted sponsor scheme for businesses, to be introduced by the UK Border Agency in autumn 2010;
  • the introduction of a wider choice of foreign internship schemes, making it easier for businesses in the UK to bring over the brightest and best graduates from around the globe, from spring 2010;
  • £200m from the UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF) to benefit life sciences, digital and advanced manufacturing businesses. This comes on top of £125m from the fund being invested in low carbon and cleantech sectors.

Also speaking at the conference is Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, focusing on future global investment trends. Other conference speakers include Nick Fry, Chief Executive of Mercedes GP; Canning Fok, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Whampoa; and Andrei Kostin, Chairman and Chief Executive of Russia’s VTB Bank.

According to international business, the UK owes its top ranking as a destination for inward investment to its excellent business environment; the wealth of talent, creativity and innovation in the UK; and its location as a gateway to Europe and the world.

Showcasing the UK’s creative excellence at the conference will be: Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President, Industrial Design; Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer at Burberry; Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of the London Design Festival; and Susan Searle, Chief Executive of Imperial Innovations plc, which commercialises innovations from London’s Imperial College, one of four UK universities in the world’s top six.

The Prime Minister will say that the UK is committed to improving the business environment for investors by simplifying planning processes, developing new infrastructure, and maintaining stable and clear regulation.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, Chancellor Alistair Darling, Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business Lord Davies of Abersoch, and Minister for Science and Innovation Lord Drayson will be among the senior Government figures speaking at the conference.

Lord Davies said:

“The investment decisions of the world business leaders who have gathered in London today will play a vital role in the global economic recovery. We are here to listen, to learn and to act. By restoring flows of investment, and sparking innovation, we can promote economic growth and prosperity around the world.”

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), said:

"SEEDA is delighted to be part of the Global Investment Conference. The conference is extremely timely. As the global economy emerges from recession, the conference provides an opportunity to share with the world's leading businesses the UK's vision for economic growth and international opportunity. The UK and in particular the South East remains highly attractive for foreign investment.

"Last year saw our best year ever in winning foreign investment into the South East and, despite the economic downturn, we attracted 90 new investments to the South East, up by 17% on the previous year, creating or safeguarding some 3,900 jobs over the last three years."



UK investment fact file:

  • Investment from foreign companies into the UK created 815,905 jobs from 1999 to 2009.
  • In 2008/9, there were 1,744 investment projects into the UK, an average of 34 a week.
  • The UK is number one in Europe at attracting inward investment and has four times more European headquarters than any other country. 
  • The UK is top in Europe and fifth in the world for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ (World Bank 2009). 
  • In Europe, the UK has the largest industries for life sciences, ICT, financial services and creative industries.
  • The UK is the world’s sixth largest manufacturer.
  • One in five of the world’s top-selling medicines were discovered or developed in Britain.
  • The UK is a net exporter of low carbon goods and services and has the world’s largest installed capacity of offshore wind electricity generation.
  • The UK has four out of the world’s top six universities and is number one in Europe at attracting R&D investment.
  • London was ranked as the leading ‘European City of the Future’ in a biennial survey announced by fDi Magazine this month.
  • In 2009, London overtook New York as the world’s leading financial centre (World Economic Forum).
  • Main sources of FDI (measured by numbers of projects, in financial year 2008/09): USA, followed by India. Other major investors in 2008-2009 were Italy (up 45 per cent), France (up 15 per cent), Canada (up 25 per cent) and the Gulf (up 25 per cent).


Investment case study:


Camberley site for Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch, one of the world's leading financial services institutions, opened an IT support centre in Surrey to back up its operations in the EMEA region.


The centre in Camberley is a regional support centre and contains over 400 staff operating Merrill Lynch's Global Technology Infrastructure and Global Business Technology groups. The company moved teams from other European locations into the new building at the Camberley site.

Bob Wigley, chairman of Merrill Lynch EMEA, said "The opening of our Camberley office allows Merrill Lynch to create a new centre of excellence for the firm focused on the specific needs of the EMEA region, while leveraging the global scale of our organisation."

SEEDA provided vital support to the project team responsible for setting up the operation.


Media Contact:

For more press information contact the UKTI press office:

Susan Grieve - T: 020 7215 4644   M: 07545 873182   E:

Tessa Fras – T: 0207 215 8483   M: 07740 153434   E:


For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155