Copyright © Gary J Harding
Business leaders attend Olympics investment conference to boost ailing economy
Nearly 4,000 world leaders, policy makers and business investors will meet today in London in an attempt to showcase the UK economy during the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Government hopes the Global Investment Conference, the biggest of its kind, will encourage the world's top businesses to invest in Britain and help secure a lasting economic legacy.
Over £1 billion of deals and projects are expected to be announced this summer as businesses capitalise on the Olympics. Ministers forecast that businesses attending the event will generate an additional £1 billion in the years to come.
The conference is the first in a series of 16 business summits which will be held around the world during the Olympic Games to promote key business sectors.
The International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) managing director Christine Lagarde and the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King will attend the event, along with leaders of organisations such as Google and GlaxoSmithKline.
The meeting at the British Business Embassy comes after yesterday's growth figures, which showed that the UK economy had slipped further into recession after contracting by 0.7 per cent between April and June. The preliminary figures indicate the country is now in its third consecutive quarter of negative growth.
Chancellor George Osborne said: "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 Europe's GDP would be boosted by 2.2 per cent as a result of the Games. Britain is aiming to boost its exports to £1 trillion annually by 2020.
"This summer is more than just a great sporting spectacle," he said. "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."
Inward investment results released today from UK Trade and Investment show that companies investing into the UK economy created more than 112,000 jobs in 2011/12, up 19 per cent on the previous year.
The summits will particularly focus on trade with China, being the third largest source of inward investment projects. The number of Chinese investment projects rose 76 per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12.