Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Britain Open for Business

PN64/2011 10 May 2011

Britain Open for Business

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green have today set out how they plan to make the UK one of the leading destinations for global investment.

Today the Ministers officially launched the new UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Strategy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Business Charter. These new plans demonstrate the Government’s commitment to supporting international business, supporting UK business overseas and attracting investors to the country.

Some of the measures of interest to the international business community include:

• Bringing more private sector expertise into the UK Government.
• Supporting institutional investors to win new business for large scale projects in the UK.
• Supporting a major international business programme during the Olympics.
• Getting Ministers to develop closer relationships with major investors and exporters.
• An ambition to attract a pipeline of up to 750 foreign direct investments every year.

The FCO Charter will focus on using FCO resources to meet the needs of British business. It is part of the FCO’s work to drive lasting prosperity for the UK, setting out the specific contribution that the FCO will make to support business across the world. Embassies and High Commissions overseas will continue to champion the UK as an excellent place to invest and do business.

Today’s announcement follows from a raft of measures announced in the Budget including cutting corporation tax to 23 per cent by 2014, offering investors the lowest tax rate in the G7. The UK has also introduced new ‘Entrepreneur visas’ making it easier for idea-generators and job-creators to establish there businesses in Britain.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
"The UK has a great reputation as a place to do business and we want to do all we can to make sure foreign investors come here.
"Today, we're announcing practical help for UK companies to ensure they win business overseas. And we're setting out how we will actively attract inward investment to the UK with ambitious plans to target sovereign wealth funds and expand the global entrepreneur programme."
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“The Charter for Business is part of our commitment to inject a new commercialism into the Foreign Office, using our international influence to help British businesses secure new trade opportunities.

“We will work tirelessly to champion UK business abroad and to help attract investment to the UK.

“Businesses will be able to capitalise on the FCO’s in-depth local expertise to identify opportunities. Ministers will continue to build the strong bilateral political relationships needed to help business thrive, as well as working to influence trade policy internationally.

“Together with the Trade and Investment strategy, the Charter marks an important step in delivering commercial diplomacy and sets out a clear vision for how the government will deliver growth and prosperity for the UK.”

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

"The Strategy we have developed builds on our successes to date but this is not business as usual by any means.

"As UKTI seeks to become more entrepreneurial, it will bring more private sector expertise into its relationship with exporters and inward investors and develop new partnerships with key businesses which support SMEs.

"Our plans will ensure that UKTI is well equipped to face the demands of the future, listening to the concerns of businesses so that we have an economic climate that benefits us all."

Trade and Investment fact file

• Companies tell UKTI that its support to exporters has helped them generate £6 billion of profit for the UK economy. This additional profit has helped generate more than 126,000 jobs in the UK.
• Last year, UKTI played a role in securing 759 investment projects, nearly half of the national total. These projects helped generate more than 40,000 jobs.
• For every £1 spent, UKTI generates £22 for the UK economy.
• In October 2010, UKTI was named as the best Trade Promotion Organisation in the Developed World.
• Ninety per cent of UKTI’s customers are small and medium-sized businesses.
• UKTI has a network that extends to almost 100 overseas markets, which generate 98% of world GDP. It also has a presence in the UK regions and online at www.ukti.gov.uk.

Media Contact:

Lewis Kulisewa Tel: 002651772400
Email: lewis.kulisewa@fco.gov.uk

Notes to editors:
1. The UKTI Strategy and FCO Charter are available online at: http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktistrategy

2. The Trade and Investment White Paper is available online at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/trade-policy-unit

3. The Government’s Plan for Growth, the first part of the ongoing Growth Review, was published at the Budget. The plan, setting out the detailed actions across government, can be found at: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ukecon_growth_index.htm.

4. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.

For more information visit: www.ukti.gov.uk | www.youtube.com/UKTIWeb | http://blog.ukti.gov.uk | www.flickr.com/ukti | http://twitter.com/ukti

5. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) works hard to promote and protect Britain’s interests around the world and run a global network of offices (Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates) in more than 170 countries. We have aligned our activities, financial resources and staff to focus on those things that matter most to Britain and the British people and where we can make the biggest difference. We regularly measure our performance against these priorities. This includes building Britain’s prosperity by increasing trade and investment, opening markets, ensuring access to resources, and promoting sustainable global growth, helping over two million British nationals abroad every year and funding the BBC World Service, British Council, Wilton Park conference centre and scholarship programmes.

6. BIS' online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

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