UK launches Investment Council to encourage firms to invest in Britain

Executive at UAE's Mubadala company is a member of the council

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State of International Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss is seen outside Downing Street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
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The UK on Monday unveiled a new Investment Council that includes an executive at the UAE's Mubadala investment fund as one of its members.

Made up of dozens of private sector figures with backgrounds in banking, technology and other industries, the council will advise ministers on how to promote the UK to foreign investors.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said Britain was aiming to show that it was "open for business as an independent trading nation" after Brexit.

One of the council's members is Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, the deputy group chief executive of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company.

Last month, Mubadala promised to invest £800 million ($1.11bn) in the British science industry under a five-year deal announced by the UK government.

Members of the council were appointed to share their experience and advise on policies that could make the UK more attractive to investors, the government said.

The 40 members announced by the trade department include a vice president of Airbus, the UK chief executive of Lockheed Martin and a chairman of Santander.

The council will meet twice a year with Investment Minister Gerry Grimstone acting as chairman.

"Investment sits at the heart of our economic recovery," the Conservative minister said.

"It drives jobs, innovation and helps to level up the whole of the UK.

“The Investment Council will deliver the expertise of influential global investors right to the heart of government, offering invaluable private-sector insight on how we can make the UK the best place to invest as we build back better, and stronger, from Covid-19."

Foreign direct investment created more than 56,000 jobs in Britain in the past financial year, the government said.

Ministers are seeking to revive an economy that was battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Britain's economy shrank by almost 10 per cent last year, its biggest slump in more than three centuries and a more severe decline than most European economies.

The crisis forced the government into its highest levels of borrowing since records began in 1947.

Lockdown restrictions were eased in March and April, with non-essential shops in England reopening and restaurants allowed to serve customers outdoors.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey anticipates a strong recovery as households unleash some of the £150bn of savings accumulated over the past year.