When it comes to overseas firms buying stakes in home grown companies, the UK policy of open doors is often criticized, but new figures from the Government suggest there is a large upside.
The figures show that nearly UK based 70,000 jobs have been created over the last year alone following investment by foreign firms.
Nearly 2,000 individual projects were identified as having created the jobs, with four countries being the most active: the US, Japan, France and Germany. Most of the new jobs were created in the energy sector.
The Government reckons that in 2013-2104, inward investment totalled £975bn, which is the highest figure since 2001. Of that, over £550bn came from Europe, some £325bn came from the Americas and Asia contributed around £70bn.
This open doors policy, which can be contrasted with the more protectionist stance of our near neighbours France, has resulted in a large number of major infrastructure projects being funded by overseas firms.
Take Airport City Manchester which is backed by China’s Beijing Construction Engineering Group, or the London Array wind farm in Kent which has the Canadian pension fund La Caisse as an investor. Then there’s the Royal Albert Docks in London, with China’s Advanced Business Parks involved and Hinkley Point power station, Somerset, which is owned by France’s EDF energy.
The fact that overseas firms can cross UK borders and effectively buy-up great parts of UK plc annoys many politicians, but as the figures show, such openness does have its benefits. The UK is a place to do business and the levels of inward investment are a thing to be praised.