UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has won an award at the United Nations World Investment Forum for excellence in attracting foreign investment.
UKTI received the award at the grand opening of the 2014 World Investment Forum at the Palais des Nations in Geneva which is organised by UNCTAD, the United Nations body responsible for development and trade.
UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum biannual awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of the world’s best-practice investment promotion agencies (IPAs). This year’s IPA awards were presented for ‘Excellence in promoting Foreign Direct Investment for sustainable development’.
UKTI was the only award winner from a European or any developed market. A group of 31 projects from 29 agencies were shortlisted for the awards.
Didier Drogba, United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, presented the UNCTAD Investment Promotion Award (IPA) award to UKTI for its work with Gamma Solutions which is expected to deliver investment in renewable energy valued at £400 million into the UK between 2014 and 2017.
UKTI Chief Executive Dominic Jermey said:
We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. The award reflects both the professional expertise of UKTI and also the attractiveness of the UK as a place to invest.
UKTI’s renewables specialists were instrumental in helping Gamma Solutions to choose the UK over 13 other new markets they were considering to enter.
Gamma Solutions has opened an office and research and development facility in the Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter, and subsequently expanded into London’s Tech City. The Gamma Solutions projects will generate 325MW capacity by 2017, enough electricity to power over 600,000 homes and reduce fossil fuel CO2 generation output by 640,000 tonnes per annum.
Alfredo Garcia from Gamma Solutions said:
Thanks to the Embassy in Madrid and UKTI’s teams both here and in the UK, we had reliable market research to inform our decisions.
We understood how to set up a local company and find offices which gave us a solid beginning allowing us to grow.
Notes to editors
UK Trade and Investment is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. It also helps 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. It provides companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.
This year’s Investment Promotion Awards for excellence in promoting foreign direct investment for sustainable development come at a critical juncture, as United Nations member states prepare to adopt a set of sustainable development goals for the period up to 2030. The goals will encompass a wide range of economic, social and environmental objectives as well as measures aimed at climate change mitigation and adaption.
In 2013 Gamma Solutions sought to expand its international footprint by selling into 14 new markets. For this investment the company considered investment destinations in Europe, the Americas, South Africa and Japan. Gamma Solutions met with UK Trade and Investment in Madrid, seeking advice concerning the UK as a potential investment destination. Over the course of several meetings, both in Spain and the UK, UK Trade and Investment provided a comprehensive overview of the UK market.
This solar energy project by Gamma Solutions is 1 example of how UK Trade and Investment brings leading-edge private sector expertise in the areas of renewable energy. Industry specialists who are seconded into the team have helped identify UK opportunities and have also been able to meet with potential investors – fully able to answer technical business requirements questions that the investors may have – supported by public sector colleagues who are expert in the regulator and political environmental. This private/public approach has been experienced as very beneficial from investors.