Confidence in UK as Global Investment Destination Grows Aided by AI, Lower Taxes

The UK’s reputation as a global investment destination hit rock bottom last April. The European Union was a “more attractive place to start a business,” Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith said after the UK competition watchdog blocked the company’s takeover of games developer Activision Blizzard. For post-Brexit Britain, no rebuke stung more.

Carmaker Stellantis NV, UK manufacturer Dyson Technology Ltd. and pharmaceutical giants Eli Lilly & Co. and Astrazeneca Plc followed up with their own criticism. ARM Holdings Plc, Britain’s technology crown jewel, chose to list in the US as capital raisings from initial public offerings fell to a 14-year low. Scars from the financial crash triggered by the government’s disastrous mini-budget in September 2022 were still fresh, the UK’s recovery from the pandemic trailed all other Group of Seven nations and inflation was roaring ahead. Britain, it could be argued, was beginning to look like a basket case.

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