The UK is becoming ever more reliant on foreign investment, especially for the provision of strategically important infrastructure, like airports and energy projects. Investors from China, UAE and elsewhere are being encouraged to invest heavily in the so-called Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine. Foreign investment meanwhile continues to flood into London, notably into the booming property market.
The presence of overseas investors in London and the regions has financial benefits and is viewed by the government as a cost effective alternative to public investment. However, greater dependence on international investors (many state backed Sovereign Wealth Funds) is not risk free. In this publication – published in association with the Regional Studies Association – the authors examine whether there is an over reliance on foreign investment which could make the UK’s cities less resilient and more vulnerable to global market fluctuations. The authors also explore concerns over the way foreign owned infrastructure projects in city-regions are regulated and governed.