Minister for Investment Gerry Grimstone has this week announced that an Investment Council will be launched to act as an advisory body to the government in helping attract foreign investment into the UK.
The aim of the new body is to help improve the UK business environment for foreign investors, and it will comprise of senior business leaders from private sector firms across the world spanning a range of different industries.
The Council will be headed by Grimstone and is to meet twice a year and whenever else may be deemed necessary. Its primary will be to directly advise the Department for International Trade, working alongside the newly established Office for Investment.
The Council’s members will be given free rein to offer their viewpoints on the status of the UK market and the country’s competitiveness, as well as being able to advise on potential changes to policy and regulations which could make the British market more lucrative for foreign investors.
It is hoped that the Council can help the government attract foreign investment that will be directly channelled into key industries and drive forward the Conservative government’s wider levelling-up agenda.
Indeed, Foreign Direct Investment alone has been responsible for generating 56,117 UK jobs in the 2020-21 financial year, according to gov.uk.
Grimstone said that foreign investment will play a key part in the nation’s post-Covid recovery by generating more jobs and driving innovation.
“Investment sits at the heart of our economic recovery. It drives jobs, innovation, and helps to level up the whole of the UK.
“The Investment Council will deliver the expertise of influential global investors right to the heart of Government, offering invaluable private sector insight on how we can make the UK the best place to invest as we build back better, and stronger, from Covid-19.”
Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, commented: “Alongside the Office for Investment, this Investment Council led by Minister Grimstone is a major leap towards ensuring foreign investors are heard and fostering a business environment that is fair and drives innovation and economic growth across the UK.
“Together with our recently established Trade and Investment Hubs, the Investment Council and the Office for Investment signal to our global partners that the UK is ready and open for business as an independent trading nation.”
Later in 2021, the UK will also host a Global Investment Summit ahead of November's COP26 Climate Summit, in a bid to attract foreign investment into the nation’s green industries.