GREAT Global Investment Conference


The UK’s £72 billion design economy took centre stage at the GREAT Global Investment Conference 2015. 


Organised to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, visiting international business leaders heard from some of the UK’s most influential figures from Advanced Engineering, Automotive, Technology and the Creative Industries.  Speakers included Sir John Sorrell, Brent Hoberman of Founders Forum, Kathryn Parsons from Decoded, John Mathers from Design Council, Jamal Edwards of SBTV, Simon Cowell of Syco Entertainment and Mike McGee of Framestore.


Talking about creating and building a global brand, Simon Cowell said:


Being a British brand helps in business now. The truth is, if you're not interested in the product you're creating, it won't work. Three quarters of the biggest TV show formats in the world are British.


The 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 nine of the UK’s target markets for overseas investment, all of which have teams competing in the World Cup.


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.


UK Government played a vital role at the GIC in showing its commitment to these sectors with the likes of the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon David Cameron MP; Minister of State for Trade and Investment, The Rt Hon Lord Maude of Horsham; and Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon George Osborne MP all speaking.


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 three times the national average. The full report will be released in October 2015.


British innovation talent from over a dozen companies was on display from global, high-performance sports car business, McLaren to Blaze, makers of the acclaimed Laserlight to demonstrate UK design capability at its best and encourage more investment to the UK and bolster its position as No 1 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.


Two major investment deals were announced at the event:


Global e-commerce company, Amazon and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) signed 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.


Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:


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 focused 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.



The GREAT Global Investment Conference brought together more than 150 government leaders, investors and entrepreneurs; they represented nine of the UK’s target markets for overseas investment, all of which have teams competing in the Rugby World Cup 2015.



The event was attended by international business and thought leaders from automotive, advanced engineering, technology and the creative industries.

Event highlights

Event highlights

See how the day unfolded here

Watch the Prime Minister’s welcome to delegates here



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Tel. +44 (0) 20 7034 4848