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Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the creation of a new unit to help attract international investment to the U.K. after it completes its departure from the European Union’s Single Market and Customs Union at the end of the year.
Under the leadership of former Barclays Plc Chairman Gerry Grimstone, the Office for Investment will seek to smooth obstacles that might deter foreign companies, including “regulatory constraints and planning issues,” the Department for International Trade said Monday.
“We need to refocus and re-double our efforts to attract foreign investment,” Grimstone said in a statement. “We must sharpen our priorities and transform our investment offer accordingly to meet the demands of a changing global economic outlook.”
Johnson said international investment in the U.K. has created 600,000 jobs in the last 10 years and sought to reassure companies that Britain’s departure from the European Union won’t make it less attractive. The “crack team of investment specialists” in the Office for Investment will ease the process for investing, he wrote in a post on LinkedIn on Monday.
“This is a country that is open to the world, that wants to do business with you and that’s not going to change when the Brexit transition period ends next month,” the prime minister said. The new unit will provide “a single front door for high potential investors, identifying and helping us secure the kind of game-changing international investment that has already done so much for this country.”
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