There has never been a better time for Polish companies to invest in the UK
Article by Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment. Investment has always been a sign of confidence. And confidence has been in short supply over the past few years as a credit crisis and now a sovereign debt crisis affect many parts of the world.
That is why it makes it all the more gratifying that so many companies still see the UK as the best place to invest in Europe. The inward investment results we have just announced show that despite global uncertainty, the UK is still one of the most attractive investment locations for businesses across the world.
These results show that last year nearly 100,000 jobs were created or safeguarded because of foreign companies investing in the UK. Every day four companies made the decision to invest here.
Companies which have decided to invest have made a long term decision. They have taken a view that if they invest their time and money they will get a return in better products, better services and better profits.
Poland is at an early stage of global business expansion. The UK offers an excellent consumer market and a superb springboard for international growth with its sophisticated research and development heritage.
Accession to Europe has had a huge positive impact on Polish international trade with the UK. Reaching 6 billion GBP in 2010 Poland has created an excellent platform to grow long term international investment in one of the most attractive markets in the world.
A number of examples come to mind where growth synergies can be created. Poland has demonstrated excellent capabilities in IT and pharmaceutical discovery. Investing in R&D infrastructure in the UK leverages excellent resource and expedites an international sales gateway.
UK expertise is behind 90 per cent of the chips used in mobile phones, involved in half of every Airbus plane, and responsible for developing or discovering fifteen of the world’s 75 top-selling medicines.
London has retained its enviable status as the world’s leading centre for finance and creative industries - a sector that goes from film and fashion to architecture and the media.
The UK has the most extensive broadband market in the G7, four of the world’s top six universities and is already a net exporter of low carbon goods and services.
And we now boast the world’s largest installed capacity of offshore wind electricity generation. When it comes to low-carbon technology we are committed to being forward-thinking and working with our international partners to have the most up-to-date technology available.
Foreign investment, of course, helps the UK in all sorts of ways, not least in the number of jobs created. So investing is not a zero-sum game. It can benefit everyone.
The UK is a place of long-term success. That is why we are one of the most open nations in the world.
But we are not stopping there. We want to expand the opportunities for investment that will deliver profits, create jobs and make sure the UK remains the best place to invest and grow in Europe.
Over the next few years the UK will begin an ambitious programme to modernise roads, utilities, ports railways and digital communications, to ensure we have the ideal infrastructure to support businesses well into the future.
Infrastructure is itself a major investment opportunity and over the next few years we want to encourage companies working in this field to think about investing in the UK.
Our strategy is a whole-of-Government approach to supporting investors’ interests in the UK. Through all departments we will support investors and make this their location of choice to set up and to grow.
We believe passionately in being open to business, because we know that when foreign companies invest and succeed, we can succeed too.
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint is the Minister of State for Trade and Investment.
Lord Green began his career with the British Government’s Ministry of Overseas Development. In 1977, he joined McKinsey & Co Inc, management consultants, with whom he undertook assignments in Europe, North America and the Middle East.
He joined The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in 1982 with responsibility for corporate planning activities, and, in 1985, was put in charge of the development of the bank’s global treasury operations. In 1992, he became Group Treasurer of HSBC Holdings plc, with responsibility for the HSBC Group’s treasury and capital markets businesses globally.
In March 1998, he was appointed to the Board of HSBC Holdings plc as Executive Director, Investment Banking and Markets responsible for the investment banking, private banking and asset management activities of the Group. He assumed additional responsibility for the Group’s corporate banking business in May 2002. He became Group Chief Executive on 1 June 2003 and Group Chairman on 26 May 2006.
Lord Green became Chairman of the British Bankers’ Association in November 2006.
On 24 May 2010, he was elected Deputy President of the Confederation of British Industry, and on 1 July 2010 he was elected Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce. A trustee of The British Museum, he is also an honorary trustee of Peking University. In April 2009 he was appointed a non-executive director of BASF SE.
Stephen Green is married with two daughters.