Thursday 21 June 2018
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary is forced to eat humble pie as his carrier sets up yet another hub in the UK, just one example of the investment boom buttressing Britain. Tech giants are piling into the City of London, alongside cash-rich Asian businessmen looking to buy office space. Siemens is moving into yet another UK factory, the prospects of a revolution in British manufacturing brought about by free ports reach new heights. Now wonder UK exports are up more than 6%.
A triple whammy of tech investment is coming to the UK. Cloud services giant Salesforce, together with UAE fund Mubadala and NTT, a Japanese telecoms company will plough more than £2.2bn in the UK tech sector. The biggest slice comes from Salesforce, creating 900 jobs with a £1.9bn outlay. The news comes on the back of a similar spree by Amazon, which plans to create £2,500 new jobs in the UK. The firm already employs 25,000.
Follow the money. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary likes to pipe up about Brexit’s ruinous effects, his business decisions say different. The low-cost carrier is opening a new hub at Southend airport. An extra million passengers will pass through the airport on their way to sixteen destinations across Europe. The expansion will create 750 new jobs.
Exports from England rose by 6.5% between January to March this year, with Scottish exports performing almost twice as well, a 12.1% increase. Wales (7.1%) and Northern Ireland (4.9%) also excelled. The West Midlands won out among the regions, up £1.8bn, a 15.2% increase. The average value of British goods sold overseas was £750,000.
Asian investors ploughed £3.1bn into City real estate during the first half of 2018, a £300m increase on the first six months of last year. “It’s further positive news for London but arguably not a surprise, despite headlines to suggest the market is turning,” said Stephen Down of Savills, “London’s property market is made up of sophisticated investors who know what value is.”
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and First Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss are said to be keen on the idea of “supercharged free ports”, permitting the nearby manufacture of goods made from materials and components imported duty-free. A report has concluded that an expansion of seven ports around the country would add a phenomenal £9bn to the economy, providing £150,000 jobs. Truss in particular is said to have a “deep personal interest”. However, the government is reluctant to formally commit to any plans for fear of enraging Brussels. The EU’s uncompetitive economies are petrified by the prospect of a nimble and innovative Britain finding ways of increasing output and revenue. This is just a glimpse of what we can look forward to.
German manufacturing giant Siemens will construct a new £200m factory at Goole, Yorkshire as part of its contract with Transport for London for new tube trains. The factory will employ 700 people, creating 1,700 jobs further down the supply chain. The new trains will be able to deliver an extra 20,000 passengers an hour aboard the Piccadilly line, which is currently only able to handle 700,000 a day.