Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced £29.5 billion of investment pledges when he played host to international business figures at the UK’s second Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace on November 27.
Attendees included representatives from companies such as Nissan, Goldman Sachs and Blackstone, amongst others.
With less than a year to go before the next general election, the Prime Minister is pulling out all the stops to boost investor confidence in the UK.
Addressing the gathering in a keynote speech he showered praise upon the select audience.
“You create jobs; drive growth; generate wealth and you even take on some of the biggest social challenges we face. And it may be unfashionable to say, but I believe that your success is our country’s success,” he said.
The summit came after the government’s Autumn Statement which made permanent tax breaks for businesses investing plant and machinery.
“Today’s investments, worth more than £29 billion, will create thousands of new jobs and are a huge vote of confidence in the future of the UK economy. Global CEOs are right to back Britain – we are making this the best place in the world to invest and do business.”
After the summit, the attendees were hosted by King Charles at a reception held at Buckingham Palace.
Post-Brexit UK trade deals thus far
Post-Brexit, the United Kingdom has technically signed more than 70 trade deals with most of them being ‘rollovers’, i.e., a continuation of the previously signed agreements.
Since 2020, the UK has been engaged in talks with the United States – its largest trading partner – seeking a trade agreement.
In October 2023, Politico reported that “a ‘foundational’ US-UK trade agreement has been kept under wraps before both men (Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak) face re-election next year”, based on leaked documents obtained by it.
A trade-deal with India is also under negotiation but is yet to be finalised.
This year, the UK reached an agreement to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a major free trade bloc in the Pacific region.
However, an analysis reported by CNN said that despite the deal being touted as the government’s “biggest trade deal,” joining the CPTPP will increase UK economic output by less than 0.1% in the long run.