By Marcus Leach
The CBI will call on the Government to bolster the UK’s attractiveness to investors, warning that without action, investment and jobs will be lost to other countries.
With public and consumer spending constrained, business investment will play a critical role in driving the recovery. But 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.
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, including interviews with senior business leaders.
The report suggests that much more needs to be done to improve the investment landscape to retain companies based here and attract fresh inward investment.
It follows a CBI and Deloitte survey of 121 senior business leaders last October, which found that between 8% and 12% of companies have not yet decided where their primary location will be in five years.
“We want the UK to be the best place for companies to invest because this is how we will create growth and jobs. But 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," John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said.
“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 play up our strengths and remove the stumbling blocks to investment. Time isn’t on our side and we have less than five years to turn things around.”
Commenting on the UK’s attractiveness as an investment location, business leaders highlighted a range of issues, including the tax regime, regulation, planning and infrastructure.