By Daniel Hunter

The largest set of trade and investment events ever held in this country starts today (Thursday) with the Government’s Global Investment Conference. The conference is the first of a series of global business summits being held in London to showcase the UK during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The series of events has been kicked off with the announcement from the new owners of the Battersea Power Station, SP Setia, Sime Darby and the Employees Pension Fund of Malaysia announcing that the development value of the project is expected to be £8 billion, and is expected to provide 20,000 construction jobs and 13,000 permanent jobs.

The mixed development will contain homes, office space, a hotel and retail space and will see the Northern Line extended with a new transportation hub at the Power Station site. The owners are keen to accelerate the development and expect to begin work on the ground next summer.

In addition, we expect businesses to announce deals and projects in the UK worth another £1 billion during the summer.

Announcements already made include:

· £4.5 billion investment in the intercity express programme, creating more than 900 jobs, investing in more trains and infrastructure for the existing diesel intercity high speed train services

· plans to boost renewable energy that could see a £25 billion of new investment in the economy over the next few years. Supporting jobs, delivering more clean power while reducing the impact on consumer bills

· Jaguar Land Rover’s expansion of its Castle Bromwich plant creating 1,100 jobs, and

· the recent securing of over £2 billion deals for the UK at the Farnborough air show which was attended by the Prime Minister and six Cabinet ministers.

The flagship Global Investment Conference is taking place at the British Business Embassy, Lancaster House, in front of an audience of international government representatives and the world’s leading financial and business figures. A further 17 business summits for over 4,000 UK and international business delegates will be held at the British Business Embassy during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The events are aimed at showcasing the UK’s capabilities across a wide variety of sectors.

Global economic issues are on the agenda for the day, with speakers including International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director General Christine Lagarde, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Angel Gurria and Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King. Business leaders such as Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, GlaxoSmithKline’s Chief Executive Sir Andrew Witty and Warren East, Chief Executive of ARM, will also speak.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“The Olympics presents us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost the UK’s growth potential. Our world-beating innovation in green technology and advanced manufacturing are on show for a vast global audience, and today we can be proud of those achievements.

“Britain needs and must cultivate an investor-friendly economy. It’s not just for us but about a shared prosperity — mutual business deals globally. Every deal counts, but we want to be bold, we need to think big, and that’s why today’s investment is such welcome news.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the world’s political and business leaders over the coming weeks to showcase Britain.”

Chancellor George Osborne said:

“Britain has always been a country that is open to the world. In hosting the Olympic Games, we are showcasing that openness. As we welcome the world’s best athletes, we also welcome the world’s best companies — so that they can succeed, invest, and create jobs in Britain.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Tomorrow we welcome the world to London as the 2012 Olympic Games get underway. This summer is more than just a great sporting spectacle - it is an unrivalled opportunity to promote the best of British industry and make the most of our openness to foreign trade and investment.

"In these difficult economic times we also need to redouble global efforts to build a genuinely open and competitive international trading environment.

“Europe’s GDP would be boosted by 2.2 per cent, creating an estimated two million jobs, if the trade agreements planned and under negotiation were successfully concluded. Britain is aiming to boost exports to £1 trillion annually by 2020 but by lowering trade barriers we can and should aim much higher."

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said:

“The UK is open for business and welcomes trade and investment as a key plank in our plan for growth. More than 112,000 jobs were created in Britain last year as a result of foreign direct investment — strong evidence that this country is seen around the world as a good place to invest in and do business with.

“But we are not complacent which is why we are taking action to ensure Britain remains attractive to overseas firms and competitive internationally. Measures such as improving the competitiveness of our tax system, maintaining low interest rates, boosting skills in the workforce through revitalised apprenticeships and cutting regulation and red tape show we are serious about making Britain the best place in Europe to do business.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

"It is brilliant that this historic landmark that helped power London for much of the 20th century will be at the centre of this huge regeneration project that will also help power the capital to even greater economic prosperity in the 21st.

"In the coming weeks, with major global investors in town for the Games, I am embarking on gigantic schmooze-athon, to highlight this and the wealth of other amazing investment opportunities that exist. That is why, for the next month, I have transformed City Hall into 'London House', our showroom to the world, where wealthy International investors will be able to gather to see and hear why the best returns can be found in our great city which offers everything to ensure businesses not only succeed but thrive in the global market."

Today’s inward investment results show that in 2011/12 inward investment created 52,741 new jobs and safeguarded a further 59,918 jobs.

The report shows a 22 per cent rise in the number of manufacturing projects and a 71% rise in e-commerce projects compared to 2010/11, as well as a rise in the number of Chinese inward investment projects from 59 to 92.

UK Trade & Investment and its partners were involved in securing four out of five of these projects.

This month, the UN’s World Investment Report showed that the UK had retained its place as the number one destination in Europe for inward investment, with investment inflows up by 7 per cent.

Global Investment Conference

UK Government Ministers attending the Global Investment Conference include:

· Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

· Chancellor George Osborne

· Business Secretary Vince Cable

· Trade & Investment Minister Lord Green

Business leaders taking part include:

· Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will discuss Themes for Global Growth, with John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco

· GSK Chief Executive Andrew Witty chairing a panel discussion on global partnerships in life sciences

· Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao and ARM Chief Executive Warren East discussing UK technology leadership.

Delegates from governments and central banks include:

· Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Nigerian Trade and Investment Minister Dr Olusegun Aganga taking part in a session to discuss global growth.

· Bank of Brazil Governor Alexandre Tombini, Bank of Mexico Governor Agustin Carstens and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi taking part in a discussion on international central banking.

British Business Embassy summits

The Global Investment Conference is the first of 17 days of global business summits that will be held over the course of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to showcase the UK to the international community.

Summits will be held to promote key UK business sectors, as well as two country summits focussing on trade with China and Brazil. The programme, organised by UK Trade & Investment, is expected to generate £1 billion in future benefit for UK businesses, and UK and international firms will use this platform as an opportunity to announce deals worth more than another £1 billion in total.

Battersea Power Station - SP Setia / Sime Darby / Employees Provident Fund

· The developers of Battersea Power Station expect to begin construction in mid-2013, and estimate a development value of the project of £8 billion

· They anticipate 20,000 construction jobs over the life of the project and over 13,000 permanent jobs thereafter

· This is on top of the £400 million initial investment that is due to complete on 4 September 2012.

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