UK Seeks More Global Capital at Investment Summit

Some of the world’s top business leaders and investors gathered in London on Monday for the Global Investment Summit, a showcase of Britain’s strengths and opportunities in technology, life sciences, creative industries and other sectors.

The summit, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch, aimed to attract greater global capital to UK companies and markets, as well as to highlight the country’s role as a science and tech superpower.

Among the attendees were Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase, David Solomon of Goldman Sachs, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, Amanda Blanc of Aviva and Ignacio Galán of Iberdrola. The UK’s largest banks, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds Bank, were also confirmed as sponsors and principal partners of the event.

In a keynote panel discussion, Schwarzman and Sunak discussed the importance of investing in the skills and technology that will shape the coming decades, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology and clean energy.

Schwarzman, whose firm manages more than $600 billion in assets, praised the UK’s innovation ecosystem and said that Blackstone was looking to increase its investments in the country, especially in areas such as digital infrastructure, education and housing.

Sunak, who has been championing the UK’s post-Brexit vision as a global financial hub, said that the government was committed to creating a pro-business environment that would foster growth and competitiveness.

He also announced a new £1 billion ($1.3 billion) fund to support the scaling up of UK-based tech companies, as well as a new visa scheme to attract talent from around the world.

The summit also featured a showcase of some of Britain’s most pioneering innovations, with demonstrations from companies in AI, quantum, agri-tech, clean growth, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and fashion.

Among them were Graphcore, a maker of chips for AI applications; Oxford Nanopore, a developer of DNA sequencing technology; Babylon Health, a provider of digital healthcare services; and Anya Hindmarch, a luxury fashion brand.

Hindmarch, who also spoke at the summit, said that the UK had a unique combination of creativity, craftsmanship and entrepreneurship that made it a leader in the global fashion industry.

She also highlighted the importance of sustainability and social responsibility, and urged the investors to support businesses that were making a positive impact on the world.

The summit, which was the first of its kind in the UK, was part of the government’s efforts to boost the country’s economic prospects and global influence in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

According to the Department for Business and Trade, the UK is the third-largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the world, attracting $64.1 billion in 2020.

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