Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WE'RE BACKING BRITAIN; Sabic Boss Spearheads CBI Investment Campaign

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

WE'RE BACKING BRITAIN; Sabic Boss Spearheads CBI Investment Campaign

Article excerpt

ONE of Teesside's leading industrialists has helped launch a major CBI campaign to make Britain more attractive to investors.

Paul Booth, Chairman of SABIC UK Petrochemicals, warned that without action, investment and jobs will be lost to other countries.

Foreign investment in the UK fell significantly during the global recession, from $186.4bn in 2007 to $45.7bn in 2009, and the UK's reputation as a good place to invest is under threat.

"We have a golden opportunity to rebuild and rebalance the UK economy in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. To achieve this, the Government must articulate an overall vision that captures maximum value for the UK as we rebuild," said Mr Booth.

In a new report called Making the UK the Best Place to Invest, the CBI identifies the main drivers and blockers for investment, based on research from 400 companies.

John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said: "It is worrying how many business leaders are telling us that the UK no longer holds the same attraction it once did and are questioning whether they need to be here at all.

"The Budget and Plan for Growth were a good start, but the Government now has to completely transform the investment landscape.

"With competition for international capital so fierce, the Government must remove the stumbling blocks to investment. Time isn't on our side and we have less than five years to turn things around."

Amanda Sourry, Chairman of Unilever UK & Ireland, agreed with Mr Booth that there needed to be a strong business plan from the Government.

"It is absolutely critical to the long-term success and competitiveness of the UK economy that a more compelling business case be built to encourage investment here," she said.

The CBI is calling for the Government to adopt the following recommendations to make the UK the best place to invest: * Stimulate new market activity. For example, by opening up public services to private provision; accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy; making the UK a prime site for clinical trials by speeding up the regulatory process, and improving high-speed broadband availability. …

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