The United Kingdom will not go back to the close relationship with China during the Cameron era, according to statements made by Sunak.

Rishi Sunak stated that the United Kingdom will not resume the strong ties with China that were fostered during David Cameron’s time as prime minister. This statement was made while the current prime minister met with business leaders to encourage foreign investment.

On Monday, the government announced that £29.5 billion in new investments have been designated for the UK. These investments include projects from companies such as Iberdrola, the owner of ScottishPower, and BioNTech, the German company that collaborated with Pfizer on its Covid vaccine.

Sunak held a meeting with the leaders of global companies such as Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, and JP Morgan at the summit located in Hampton Court Palace in south-west London. Following this, there was a reception at Buckingham Palace where he interacted with King Charles.

Projections for economic growth in the UK were significantly reduced during last week’s autumn statement, increasing the urgency for the government to demonstrate actions taken to revitalize an economy suffering from high levels of inflation.

Cameron had courted Chinese investment in the UK as prime minister until 2016 when he resigned after the EU referendum. He returned to frontline politics this month as foreign secretary, leading to questions over whether he would change UK policy towards China after recent years of increased tensions. Cameron hosted a private session with business leaders at the summit.

Sunak indicated that he had no plans to alter UK policy. During the summit, he stated, “If David Cameron were present, he would acknowledge that today’s China is not the same as the China he dealt with ten years ago.”

Sunak acknowledged that China’s position as the second-largest economy in the world is an undeniable reality that cannot be ignored. He also emphasized that in order to address significant global issues, China must be part of the solution. These statements were made by the prime minister while participating in a discussion with Steve Schwarzman, the wealthy chairman and co-founder of Blackstone investment firm.

Hunt and Sunak courted praise from the business leaders, including Jamie Dimon, the chief of JP Morgan, the world’s largest bank, who compared UK policy favourably with the US. Dimon heavily criticised US policy, likening spending on stimulus payments by the US government and bond purchases by the Federal Reserve to “heroin”.

“I’m not surprised that you’re feeling positive,” Dimon remarked about the effect on the US economy, and speculated that the recent robust growth could be temporary. He also mentioned the possibility of ongoing inflation in the US, which may lead central banks to maintain higher interest rates for an extended period of time.

Sunak emphasized the need for the UK to shift its focus towards regions such as the Middle East and Asia Pacific when seeking investment. This was evident as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt led a discussion with influential figures such as Khaldoon Al Mubarak from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company and Manchester City’s chairman, as well as Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Al-Rumayyan highlighted their recent investment in rival football club Newcastle United as one of their most significant and impactful investments.

Sunak presented the United Kingdom as a strong ally, expressing his desire to out-cooperate those who oppose us.

Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow secretary for trade and business, stated that the last 13 years of Conservative leadership have been characterized by a noticeable absence of stability, consistency, and ambition. This has resulted in potential investors being deterred from investing in Britain.

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At the summit, the government celebrated several investments, including £10 billion from Australia’s IFM Investors for energy and infrastructure, £7 billion from Iberdrola for UK electricity transmission, and £5 billion from Australia’s Aware Super for energy and housing businesses.

BioNTech, the creator of the mRNA Covid vaccine, will construct a new facility in Cambridge and Microsoft plans to invest £2.5 billion in AI infrastructure.

It is uncertain which projects, if any, were directly influenced by the investment summit.

In October 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson organized a comparable meeting at London’s Science Museum. Prominent business leaders, such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, were in attendance. Afterwards, they were invited to Windsor Castle by the Queen.

The government has stated that the majority of the £9.7bn in investments promised at the summit, which includes £6bn for offshore windfarms from Iberdrola, is still in progress.