Friday 12 March 2021 8:40 am

Global chief executives say UK market is more attractive after Brexit

Britain is a more attractive investment proposition than it was before Brexit according to a survey of 5,000 business leaders across the globe. 

The UK has overtaken India as the fourth most attractive growth target to bosses, behind the US, China and Germany. 

PwC’s annual survey of global chief executives shows 11 per cent of global CEOs selected the UK as one of their top three targets, up from nine per cent last time the survey was conducted in 2019. 

Chief executives based in China have increased their interest in the UK market post-Brexit: 13 per cent selected the UK as a growth target compared to just three per cent in 2019. Additionally almost a quarter of India’s bosses are looking to Britain for opportunities. 

“The findings are a vote of confidence in certainty and stability, which have undoubtedly increased on the trade front. Not only has the UK grown in appeal to some of our newer trade targets, but it remains an important market among our European neighbours,” PwC chairman Kevin Ellis said. 

Personal optimism

This certainty is translated into UK chief executives’ own optimism. UK bosses are now even more optimistic about the global economy and their organisations’ growth prospects than their global peers. 

The vast majority – 89 per cent – are confident revenue prospects will improve to some extent over the next year and the three-year outlook is even more bullish. 

The optimism is likely in large part due to the success of the UK’s vaccine rollout which has allowed companies to plan for normality to resume. 

“CEOs are largely confident the crisis has turned a corner… this improvement is fuelling activity and momentum, as chief execs plan ahead,” Ellis said. “We’re seeing this evident in deal activity which is building apace, and it should also translate into headcount increases in growth sectors like tech”. 

More than half of chief executives anticipate hiring more staff over the next year while 44 per cent of global leaders expect it to increase.