Press release

UK’s £72 billion design economy takes centre stage at GREAT Global Investment Conference 2015

Business leaders celebrate Britain’s booming design industry at The GREAT Global Investment Conference in London.

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Global business leaders celebrated Britain’s booming design industry at The GREAT Global Investment Conference in London today (17 September 2015).

Organised to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, visiting international business leaders heard from some of the UK’s most influential figures from the creative, automotive and design industries.

Excerpts from new research by Design Council were exclusively previewed, with statistics showing the true value of design to the wider UK economy. Design contributed £72 billion to the UK in 2013, employed 5% of the UK workforce and created jobs at 3 times the national average. The full report will be released in October 2015.

British talent in technology, design, creativity, advanced manufacturing and automotive was on display to demonstrate UK design capability at its best, in a bid to encourage more investment to the UK and bolster its position as number one for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Europe.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

The scale of foreign investment we are now seeing across Britain is a great success story and a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan, creating growth and jobs for working people. As the UK takes centre stage once again, I am determined that we show the world just what we have to offer – with a strong economy and a wealth of talent, creativity and unbeatable investment opportunities.

Investment deals announced at the conference include:

  • Global e-commerce company, Amazon and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalise a partnership giving UK sellers access to new resources and dedicated programmes. The partnership will give customers access to a global market that delivered nearly $90 billion of global sales in 2014 and has 285 million active customers worldwide.

  • UK-based Codemasters and Intel Corporation are collaborating to bring a suite of innovative new graphics technologies to the worldwide PC gaming market. The collaboration between Codemasters’ game and Intel’s UK based engineering teams has resulted in improved visual effects adding much improved photo-realism and life-like real world simulation effects to Codemasters’ gameplay on Intel powered PCs. The full suite of cutting-edge effects is due to be announced to the public in the final quarter of 2015.

Today’s conference at Lancaster House, on the eve of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, brought together more than 150 government leaders, investors and entrepreneurs. Between them they represent 9 of the UK’s target markets for overseas investment, all of which have teams competing in the World Cup.

Speakers included Sir John Sorrell, Brent Hoberman of Founders Forum, Kathryn Parsons from Decoded, John Mathers from Design Council, Jamal Edwards of SBTV and Mike McGee of Framestore.

Nearly half a million foreign visitors are expected at the Rugby World Cup, which represents a wealth of opportunities for UK business. Representatives from the sports industry will be present in London to show what the themes of teamwork and perseverance can add to business, and why the UK is such a good place for sport to flourish.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:

It’s fantastic that once again the eyes of the world will be on the UK as the first match of the Rugby World Cup gets underway at Twickenham tomorrow.

This government wants Britain to be the most prosperous major economy in the world by the 2030s, and global investment will play a key part in achieving that. This conference shows our continued commitment to welcoming the world’s investors to our country, and I want the message to be clear to all: Britain is open for business.

Trade and Investment Minster Lord Maude said:

This government is focussed on continuing to secure high-quality foreign direct investment to create sustainable jobs and growth for the UK economy.

The UK is world-renowned for its design and creativity in a variety of sectors – from fashion to automotive. Through this event we’re demonstrating that the UK is very much open for business and seeking to build on the record FDI results we secured last financial year.

Through UKTI, the British government is supporting more projects than ever before and playing a valuable role in securing economic growth.

UK Trade and Investment’s recent annual report shows the UK’s FDI stock passed the £1 trillion level for the first time last year, increasing nearly 50% since 2010 and helping to create 85,000 new jobs.

A global study announced today by IBM also identified London as the world’s leading city for attracting FDI, putting it ahead of Paris and Singapore.

Notes to Editors:

  1. For more information go to the GREAT Global Investment Conference

  2. The event is sponsored by HSBC, and hosted by UK government at Lancaster House in central London.

  3. The concept, reputation and format of the Global Investment Conference (GIC) is well established. The GREAT GIC 2015 will be the 5th such event created, hosted and delivered by UKTI.

  4. From Design Council’s upcoming report – The Design Economy 2015: The value of design to the UK. Read more at ‘The importance of measuring the economic value of design’

  5. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.

  6. Design Council is an enterprising charity which improves people’s lives through the use of design. Thierwork places design at the heart of stimulating business growth, helps to transform our public services and enhances places and cities to ensure a sustainable future for everyone. They advance new design thinking, encourage debate and inform government policy. Their vision is to create a better world by design.

Published 17 September 2015