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Foreign Direct Investment since 2016

Volume 727: debated on Thursday 9 February 2023

8. If she will make an estimate of the level of foreign direct investment into the UK since 23 June 2016. (903573)

More global multinationals have set up subsidiaries in the UK than in any country other than the United States. This is the best place in Europe in which to raise capital. Between April 2016 and the end of March 2022, the Department assisted more than 8,700 foreign direct investment projects in the UK, which have created about 348,000 new jobs across the United Kingdom.

The UK has had a great track record of attracting foreign direct investment since we voted to leave the European Union. The figures given by the Minister will include the £200 million investment by Ball Corporation in the United States in the UK’s largest and Europe’s most advanced can manufacturing plant, in Burton Latimer. How does the UK’s record of attracting foreign direct investment compare with those of our major EU competitors?

My hon. Friend has given a fantastic example of the opportunities that have been created. The UK is a highly attractive destination for FDI, and has been among the top recipients in Europe over the last decade. According to the Financial Times and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the UK has the highest market share of greenfield FDI capital expenditure in Europe, at 20%—almost double that of Spain, which is in second place with 12%. It also has the highest levels of Food and Drug Administration stock in Europe, second only to the United States globally. It is remarkable how far we have progressed in such a short time.

The Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act 2022 makes investing in the US very attractive, particularly for innovative green technology. How are we going to compete?

In my previous role I was dealing with the impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act, and I hope I will continue to do so, because so many business representatives whom I have met have raised it as a concern. The hon. Lady has referred to green technology. A great deal of work has already been done to promote all our expertise, especially in relation to hydrogen, but there is a huge amount of investment in the UK’s green technology sector and technology in general, and we are also a leading light when it comes to lithium. I was recently in Cape Town with our Green Lithium firm, which wanted to negotiate on how it could do more work in the United States. That is exactly what we are here to do—to facilitate collaboration of that kind.