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Foreign investment slowdown shows importance of securing trade deals

04 Dec 2015

Commenting on official foreign direct investment statistics released today, which show British companies shrinking their investments abroad from £1,025 billion in 2013 from £1,015 billion in 2014, Allie Renison, Head of Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“As global demand weakens, the UK can no longer rely on its investments abroad to compensate for its relatively weak export performance. However, it’s not all bad news, as some of the manufacturing firms selling off assets and facilities abroad are doing so to reshore production in the UK, where the economy continues to perform strongly. We also shouldn’t forget that the UK is still the leading destination in Europe for inward investment.”

“In the longer term, the growing middle classes and increasing focus on domestic demand in countries like China and India will increase opportunities for UK firms to sell their services. In the short-term, however, the slowdown in emerging markets will make the job harder. This makes it more important than ever for the EU to speed up the signing of investment agreements with these countries, as there are still far too many protectionist barriers to entry for foreign firms wishing to invest in China and emerging markets.”

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