Department for Business & Trade
Prime Minister's keynote speech at the Global Investment Summit: 27 November 2023
- Also published by:
- 10 Downing Street
Prime Minister Rishi Suank's speech given yesterday at the Global Investment Summit.
Welcome to Hampton Court Palace and the UK’s second Global Investment Summit.
Now, my argument today is that the UK is a modern, dynamic, thriving economy.
And where better to prove those futuristic credentials, than a 500-year-old Palace.
But this Summit is not just a sales pitch for Britain…
…although you’d better believe I’m going to give you that.
It’s also a chance for us to say: thank you.
I’ve spent my career before politics in business and finance.
And so have many of my top team, including the Chancellor.
And we know that it’s not governments that grow the economy.
It’s businesses and investors like all of you.
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.
So I really am grateful to all of you for making time to be here today.
And your presence…
…your decision to choose to invest in Britain…
…is a huge vote of confidence in this country’s future.
And I think you’re absolutely right to feel that confidence.
Because we’re setting about to make this best place in the world to invest and do business.
Now I am unashamedly proud of Britain.
Ands there’s a growing momentum in the UK right now.
Don’t just take my word for it.
PWC’s survey of thousands of global CEOs rated the UK the most attractive investment destination in Europe.
And you can see that confidence in the decisions people are making.
Like Tata, BMW, and just last week, Nissan – investing billions into automotive and electric vehicles manufacturing.
Or Microsoft, announcing today £2.5bn for critical AI infrastructure…
…in addition to all the leading AI labs who already have their European offices here.
Or the Ellison Institute of Technology, confirming today a £1bn investment into their new Oxford site..
…researching and developing new technologies, including life sciences.
And you can see that momentum too in our commitment to free trade.
In the past year alone, we’ve secured new investment partnerships with the US, Japan, and South Korea…
…worth more than £50bn.
We’ve become the first European country to join the fast-growing Trans-Pacific partnership…
And hugely benefited from the sovereign investment partnership with the United Arab Emirates…
…deploying over £14bn into the UK in a little over two years.
And all of that is why this country is one of the fastest [for] investment growth… anywhere in the G7
Now when I say this country can be the best place in the world to invest and do business…
…you should believe me and believe me because of three big competitive advantages.
Our low tax approach; our culture of innovation; and our people.
The purest expression of this government’s economic philosophy…
…is that people and businesses make far better decisions about their own money…
…than any government could.
And I believe that by allowing you to keep more of the return on your capital…
…our country becomes more competitive as a place to invest, grow, and create jobs.
And make no mistake, we are cutting taxes.
Not only do we have the lowest rate of Corporation Tax rate in the G7.
Last week, we announced that we would make full expensing, permanent.
This means you can write off the cost of many capital investments – in full.
It makes our capital allowances regime one of the most generous in the world.
And it was the biggest business tax cut in modern British history.
And that’s not all.
We’ve got lower capital gains tax rates than France, Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Some of the most generous tax reliefs on stock options anywhere in the world.
And we’re cutting personal taxes for 27 million working people, too.
But while low taxes are crucial, they’re not enough on their own…
…to make this country the best investment destination in the world.
We’re also creating new ideas…
…and turning those ideas into the most exciting companies of the future.
And that’s the UK’s second competitive advantage: our incredible culture of innovation.
Now the story of the United Kingdom has always been about discovery and invention.
Ours is the country of Newton, Faraday, Hodgkin, and Lovelace…
…of Stephenson’s steam engine, Darwin’s theory of evolution…
…and the world wide web, invented by Tim Berners-Lee…
…who I’m delighted is attending here today.
And that tradition is still very much alive.
With less than 1% of the world’s population, we have three of the world’s top 10 universities.
The third highest number of research publications.
And the second most Nobel laureates of any nation.
And we’re turning those ideas into incredible businesses, up and down the country.
With more tech Unicorns than any country, bar the US and China.
And more venture capital than France and Germany combined.
Not that I’m in any way competitive.
But at a moment like this, when the tectonic plates of technology are shifting…
…not just in AI, but in quantum, synthetic biology, semiconductors, and much more…
…we cannot be complacent.
And that’s why we’re investing record amounts of public capital into R&D.
Also Cutting taxes for all of you that are investing in R&D.
And overhauling our listing rules to make it easier for those innovative growing companies to raise capital.
And outside the EU, we’re delivering agile regulation that is pro-innovation and pro-growth.
So, whether it’s financial services or life sciences…
…AgriTech or our creative industries…
…innovation is the golden thread running through the British economy.
But in the end, the greatest asset to any economy is its people.
And that’s the UK’s third competitive advantage.
Here at home, we’re delivering a world-class education system.
We’ve already got one of the most highly qualified workforces in Europe.
And just as your businesses are having to adapt to the economy of the future, so our skills policies are evolving too…
…with our new Lifetime Skills Guarantee, …which supports adults to retrain at any stage in their careers…
…with record funding in vocational training like apprenticeships.
But we don’t have a monopoly on talent in this country.
And we recognise that nearly half of our most innovative companies have an immigrant founder.
So if you’re an innovator, an entrepreneur, a researcher,
…you should know that the most competitive visa regime for highly skilled international talent…
…is right here in the United Kingdom.
And let me give you just one example:
Our High Potential Individual visa means…
That if you’re a young person…
Who’s graduated from a global top 50 university…
You can just come to the UK…
And stay here, with your family, for two years…
To just explore. Work. Study. Invent.
Nothing like that exists anywhere else in the world.
And that tells you everything about our pro-innovation, pro-growth, pro-business philosophy:
So that’s the opportunity here in the UK.
That’s why you should believe me when I say…
…this is the best country in the world to invest and do business.
Because of that unique combination of a competitive tax system…
Our culture of innovation…
And our people.
Now I know some people look at Summits like this and often they’re all talking shops.
But let me tell you what we’ve achieved.
This Summit has galvanised new investments in the UK economy…
…worth a total of [almost] £30bn, over three times as much as the first Summit that was held a couple of years ago.
That will support tens of thousands of new jobs right across the UK.
It will create new growth and new opportunities.
And it’s a huge vote of confidence in this country’s future.
So, thank you for choosing to be part of that future.
Thank you for everything you’re doing for this country.
with your support…
…we can and we will build an even brighter future…
…for our children and grandchildren.
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