Britain is braced to see more business leaders expressing interest in investing in the UK after Brexit, proving the many international chief executives “still view the UK as an attractive investment destination”. Chief executives from the US, China and Japan – the UK’s top investor and the world’s second and third biggest economies – say they are on average now more likely to invest in the UK post-Brexit, according to the findings. Britain could expect to see more interest from chief executives in India, who said they would be more likely to invest, while more than half of bosses of Japanese and Chinese companies shared a similar sentiment. But bosses in the EU – with a focus on France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands – are likely to take a less positive view on Britain and said they would be less inclined to invest post-Brexit.
In Germany, more than half of bosses said their mood would turn sour post-Brexit, while 80 per cent of CEOs in the Netherlands said they too would be less inclined to invest.
The findings, conducted by KPMG, come from a poll of 1,300 chief executives in 11 of the world’s largest economies – Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US.
Of this selection, less than half of UK leaders said they are remaining optimistic for global economic growth over the next three years.
Bill Michael, Chairman and Senior Partner at KPMG, said: “These are testing times for chief executives in the UK.
“The continued uncertainty over Brexit has made it harder for leaders to make big calls on investment.
“At the same time, disruption from emerging technology, climate change and fragile geopolitical and trade conditions have created one of the most complex backdrops to operate against in recent times.
“Yet CEOs are resilient – there is life after Brexit.
“They are optimistic about their own organisation’s prospects, the prospects for future economic growth in this country and the contribution they can make.
“These results demonstrate we must have faith in business and a market-based economy as the best way to deal with the economic and social challenges of today.”
CEOs pointed to three big risks to growth – including emerging technology, climate change and economic nationalism.
Mr Michael added: “A sustainable business must, ultimately, have a backbone of creativity and innovation.
“Getting this right is critical, or companies will struggle to react to rapid changes in the market and the threat of new digital entrants.
“For many, it’s transform or die.”