UK companies enjoy global projects

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Posted by APM on 24th Jun 2014

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Image: Vaughan Leiberum

With no other country in Europe logging more foreign investment projects than the UK in 2013, we take a look at what could be next.

Saudi Arabia has recently opened its doors to British companies to invest and win a slice of its 237 billion programme of infrastructure improvements.

Abdullatif al-Othman, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia), told the Telegraph: UK companies have an advantage in Saudi Arabia as its played a significant role in our development journey since the early years.

Theres an appreciation of what British companies can bring to the table.

Saudi Arabia is already Britains biggest trading partner in the region and the kingdom is one of the biggest foreign investors in the UK. Its estimated that the total value of Saudi investments in Britain is around 62 billion.

More than 26,000 British expatriates work in Saudi Arabia, with companies such as HSBC maintaining a strong presence on the ground, that will only increase further with Jaguar Land Rovers plan to set up a 200 million assembly line in the country in the near future.

Al-Othman added: In many ways the UK is a role model for the kingdom as it has created excellent healthcare, transport, engineering and innovation hubs.

Meanwhile, the British government is targeting Australian superannuation funds as potential investors for new infrastructure projects in the UK.

As government body UK Trade & Investment recently reported that the UK will need 355 billion of investment over the next 20 years with 40 per cent coming from the energy sector its believed that the Australian super funds are the future of investing in infrastructure.

The investment opportunities within the UK energy sector have increased tenfold thanks to the passing of the 2013 Energy Act, which set out regulatory measures for the development and pricing of energy.

Justine Allan, head of institutional relations for UK Trade & Investment, labelled Australian superfunds as world leaders in this area.

She said: Most pension funds in the UK do not invest directly into infrastructure they give a sizeable chunk of money to a bank that invests on their behalf but this is changing.

Its a huge learning process. What were here to do is make sure they have all of the information they need about the UK space.

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