Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.
The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.
Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.
“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.
“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”
The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.
Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:
- Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
- Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
- Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.
The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.
Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.
What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Britain’s Olympics has delivered a £2.5 billion boost in foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past year, bringing with it more than 31,000 jobs, according to preliminary figures published today.
The investment projects generated following the 2012 Olympics’ British Business Embassy programme of global business summits have helped ensure that the UK has again retained its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment.
The preliminary data published today at the Global Investment Conference shows that during 2012-13, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) recorded 1,462 projects which brought with them or safeguarded 163,489 jobs. Of these 58,170 are new jobs – beating both the quantity of investment attracted and employment secured in the previous year.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron joined other high profile delegates from 40 countries at the Global Investment Conference, including the German and Canadian finance Ministers, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, global chief executive officers, sovereign wealth funds representatives and corporate investors.
Senior Ministers Chancellor George Osborne, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Trade Minister Lord Green, Treasury Ministers Greg Clark and Lord Deighton and London Mayor Boris Johnson also spoke to delegates about the UK’s compelling offer as both a hub for global growth and an international investment destination.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Foreign investment creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and helps to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the UK economy. It’s a vital strand of the Government’s plan for growth.
“The 2012 Olympics were a once in a generation opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world Britain’s compelling investment offer and these preliminary figures are very encouraging. Despite strong competition from our traditional competitors and emerging economies, Britain has retained its position as the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.
“To retain the UK’s enviable position as one of the most attractive global locations of choice, Britain will need to continue to work hard to attract high value foreign investment in the coming year and beyond.“
The preliminary data published today compares favourably with last year’s 1406 recorded projects (4% increase) and 112,659 jobs (45% increase). Of the 163,489 jobs, 58,170 are new jobs and 105,319 safeguarded jobs. UKTI and its partners were involved in delivering nearly 84% of the projects. Full results will be published in July.
It is the first time that an All-Party Parliamentary Group has taken a trade mission on a visit to a market in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Infrastructure opportunities are growing rapidly in the South East Asia region, which includes some of the fastest-growing markets. The region is predicted to be the fourth largest market in the world by 2030.
The mission is set to start in Singapore where the group will meet key figures from the public and private sector education and business communities.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Getting more companies to export and attracting high-quality investment to the UK are key planks of the government’s Plan for Growth. Indonesia and Singapore are high growth markets and I am delighted to see this mission taking place.”
In 2011 UK goods and services exports to Singapore totalled £7.8 billion (+7.4% on 2010), making Singapore the UK’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. Opportunities in Singapore include machinery and transport, which is the largest UK goods export sector to Singapore.
MP Margot James said: “I am delighted to be leading this mission, the first by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment.
“This trade mission is a fantastic opportunity to give British companies access to the exciting and growing markets of Singapore and Indonesia which are vital to delivering the UK’s economic growth agenda.”
The UK is ranked 20th largest exporter to Indonesia and the 3rd largest among EU member states. The UK’s largest exports to Indonesia include power generation equipment; general industrial machinery, road vehicles, pulp and waste paper and specialised machinery.
What is your reaction to the trade delegation in Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Now UK contractors involved in the construction of the 2012 Olympics in London are meeting five of the biggest Brazilian construction forms in a bid to win work for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
The meeting has been orchestrated by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and will see companies who have experience on the Olympics (Arup, Atkins and Davis Langdon are some of the UK companies invited) to meet Brazilian firms OAS, Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez, amongst others.
Building News report that the UK firms will offer guidance and expertise on how to build world class, low-carbon stadiums and arenas, and offer the Brazilians advice on how to get the most out of their £8.6 billion Olympics warchest. This will give UK firms the chance to win work in Brazil for the 2016 Olympics and create new jobs for UK contractors.
The UKTI’s Andrew Bacchus confirmed this, saying “the objective is to get in front of the companies who will be picking up the big contracts for 2016, to help UK firms who want to be part of consortiums being put together, or part of these big firms’ supply chains.”
England may have lost the battle to host the 2018 World Cup to Russia, but they still can have an impact on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as it could have a major impact on the UK construction industry.
Qatar, who won the right to host football’s most prestigious tournament last week, plan to spend billions on building new stadiums and improving their infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Therefore UK Trade and Investment are urging British firms to bid for the array of construction work that will need completing in Qatar ahead of the World Cup.
Qatar plan to spend $100 billion to improve their infrastructure, some of which would go to British firms if they managed to win contracts to build new stadiums in the Gulf. In total, nine new state-of-the-art stadiums need building, three stadiums need renovating, and $25bn will be spent on Qatar’s rail network, $20bn on the roads and a new $11 billion airport is set to be built.
The report by the UKTI, titled ‘Rising to the Challenge, Positioning UK Sport Business in the Gulf’, says that UK companies have the expertise to deliver world-class sporting events, and their skills should be utilised to make Qatar 2022 a success. UK Trade & Investment’s Chief Executive Sir Andrew Cahn said in a statement:
“The region’s vast array of sports projects offers a wealth of opportunities for British firms. UK companies have the expertise to deliver world-class sporting events from the bidding and planning stages to delivery and legacy. Whether it’s developing infrastructure, procurement, branding, event management, ticketing or security, UK companies have the expertise and know-how.”
Train4TradeSkills spoke to the UKTI and they said that British firms are well respected in Qatar and have been trading with them for years, which gives UK construction firms a good chance of winning contracts out in the Gulf.
Arup are one of the construction companies who have been working with Qatari officials to develop and design the stadiums, including a test 500-seater stadium that uses solar technology to provide zero-carbon air conditioning.
Arup’s UK-MEA Sport Business Leader Nic Merridew says: “The Gulf offers a wealth of potential opportunities to UK business who are recognised leaders in the sports infrastructure sector.”
If UK firms are successful in winning construction contracts in the Gulf, then this would potentially create thousands of jobs for UK plumbers, electricians and gas engineers, as the construction work would have to start from scratch, as the infrastructure in Qatar is non-existent at the moment.
What do you think – would you go over to Qatar to work on the infrastructure for World Cup 2022?