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REGIONSEUROPE


GERRY GRIMSTONE WANTS TO ‘MASSIVELY BOOST’ FOREIGN INVESTMENT


UKappoints investmenttsar


UKfilmand TV still reeling in capital


Investors are showing continued confidence inUKfilmandTV productionamidgrowingdemand for content from streamingplat- forms, boostinganindustry seen as crucial to urban regeneration andthe post-pandemic recovery. On November 3, US-based


Hackman Capital Partners announced plans to transform an east London industrial estate into a film production complex, pledging £300m ($397.4m) of investment over the next three years. The Eastbrook Studios will


feature 12 sound stages to become London’s largest studio campus once complete, contributing an estimated £35m per year to the local economy and creating 1200 jobs. Darren Rodwell, the leader of


“There’s no better front door to go through than the front door at 10 Downing Street,” says Lord Grimstone UK


The British government has gone back to the drawing room, after years of Brexit stillness, to design a newOffice for Investment (OFI) at the heart of government. Its aim is to reinforce the role of the UKas amajor investment destina- tionafter the end of the transi- tionperiod. In his Linkedin debut, British


prime minister Boris Johnson cut to the chase. While governments are scrambling to design a compelling investment proposition as global investment shrinks and competi- tion intensifies, he stated: “The question is not so much ‘why would you choose the UK’ as “why wouldn’t you?” The man tasked with leading the


OFI as ‘a single front door for high- potential investors’ shares the prime minister’s vision. “Frankly, there’s no better front


door to go through than the front door at 10 Downing Street,” Lord Gerry Grimstone, a former invest- ment banker named Minister for Investment in March and nowhead of the OFI, tells fDi. The UK has traditionally been


the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in Europe, figures


74


from investment monitor fDi Markets show. The country offers one of the world’s best business envi- ronments, second only to Denmark for ease of doing business in Europe, according to the World Bank. And before Covid-19 struck, it typically outperformed the other major European economies. Not even Brexit jeopardised its


leadership, although it somewhat questioned it. Foreign investors announced 4975 projects in the UK between July 2016 and September 2020, according to figures fromfDi Markets. In the same period, Germany came close with 4183 projects, followed by France (2718) and Spain (2119). However, a closer look at the


data shows a partitioning country as London and the South East increased its share of total FDI projects to more than 51% since then prime minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 and officially set Brexit in motion. “The UK economy has decoupled


— it has effectively become two different countries,” Philip McCann, chair of urban and regional econom- ics at the University of Sheffield and the father of the geography of discontent theory, tells fDi.■ JACOPODETTONI,ALEXIRWIN-HUNT


Barking and Dagenham Council, who campaigned for the site’s devel- opment over the past four years, said that his local area “used to be famous for factories and Fords but in the future, we will be equally famous for making films”.■ ALEXIRWIN-HUNT


Norwaydefies Covidcrunch


Norway is bucking the downward FDI trend seenacross Europe, posting a recordnumber of inbound investments despite the global pandemic, according to investmentmonitor fDi Markets. Between January and October


2020, foreign companies announced 44 greenfield projects in Norway, continuing the upward trend seen since 2015 and matching the record number of foreign investments made in 2013. Meanwhile, across the whole of


Europe, FDI project pledges fell by 38% in the same time period. Investors in the business services


were particularly active inNorway, announcing a record 14 projects, including Germany-based Simon- Kucher&Partners, India-based Magistral Consulting and US-based Alvarez&Marsal—all of which have openednewoffices in Oslo.■ ALEXIRWIN-HUNT


www.fDiIntelligence.com December 2020/January 2021


38%


THEDROPIN FDIPROJECT PLEDGESACROSSEUROPEIN THEFIRST10MONTHSOF2020


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