BUSINESS leaders from some of the largest companies in the world have begun arriving in London for a showcase event to boost investment into the UK, timed to coincide with the Olympic Games.
The UK Trade and Investment department yesterday launched its so-called British Business Embassy, attracting figures such as Google’s Eric Schmidt, WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell and Cisco Systems’ CEO John Chambers.
Prime Minister David Cameron spoke at the Global Investment Conference, attempting to assure the assembled heavyweights that Britain is “back open for business”.
Cameron was joined by other key politicians, and central bankers, such as International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, Bank of England chief Sir Mervyn King, and European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi.
The Prime Minister received kind words from business leaders such as Schmidt, but also came under fire for some coalition policies.
In a Q&A session Chambers pressed Cameron over the government’s plans to restrict net immigration, a policy that has been strongly attacked by business and higher education groups.
The UK’s stumbling aviation policy also came in for criticism from Emirates CEO Tim Clark.