Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed a co-operation framework between US multinational GE and the UK government to support new UK investment, jobs and exports.
The memorandum of understanding was signed at Downing Street by GE and UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency.
The co-operation framework on exports from the UK by GE could support up to 1,000 new GE jobs in the UK energy sector.
The memorandum sets out a range of ways in which the signatories aim to co-operate. Under the framework, UKEF:
• Confirms appetite and capacity to consider providing financing support for more than £7.7bn worth of projects under consideration, plus a new ‘top-up’ support facility of up to £500m, subject to individual project approval and due diligence;
• Confirms that GE has been approved to be a member of its Direct Lending Facility Partnership Panel, whose members arrange UK government loans to overseas buyers of UK exports.
Under the framework, GE:
• Pledges ongoing support for its UK supply chain;
• Undertakes to promote UKEF’s exporter support schemes to its UK supply base.
GE is already one of the leading investors into the UK, operating in more than 60 locations including 40 manufacturing facilities. The company has invested £14bn into the UK since 2003, generating UK exports to more than 50 countries.
Future business to be considered under the new framework includes solar, power generation and oil and gas related export opportunities in Brazil, Egypt, India and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“We are doing everything we can to make Britain the best place in Europe to start, finance or grow a business and GE’s substantial commitment through this agreement is fantastic news. It will provide jobs and security for people working in the energy sector and elsewhere. It is a vote of confidence in our long term economic plan.”
Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE said:
“Export finance is a critical tool we use to support our customers. In today’s competitive environment, countries that have a strong Export Credit Agency (ECA) will attract investment. We are fortunate to have the support of UK Export Finance (UKEF) – one of the most flexible ECAs in the world. The UK is pro-export and pro-manufacturing.”
David Godfrey, Chief Executive, UK Export Finance said:
“I warmly welcome this exciting series of partnership opportunities with GE. UKEF is proud to be viewed as one of the most responsive and innovative export credit agencies in the world, as this new GE framework demonstrates. It is a good example of the many new opportunities for multinational companies operating out of the UK to work with us.”