14 February 2020
Nicolo Tamberi is a Research Assistant in Economics for the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
An important question arising from the UK’s decision to leave the EU is around the impact on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, with many academics and commentators suggesting that exiting the EU may accelerate the decline of British manufacturing.
Car manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota came to the UK in the 1980s with the aim of selling to the whole European market. While the car industry is often used as an example, other industries appear to be affected by uncertainty as well. Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the board of Hitachi, wrote in the Financial Times: ‘We invested in [the UK] as the best base for access to the entire EU market’. The Japanese government’s letter to the United Kingdom clearly stated that for Japanese firms in the UK frictionless access to the European market is vital for their business. (more…)
George Meredith February 14th, 2020
28 June 2019
On Wednesday, the Department for International Trade (DIT) released its official statistics on inward foreign direct investments (FDI) for the financial year 2018-19. As stated by the DIT, these data measure the inflow of ‘new investment, expansion, and mergers & acquisition’ projects, both publicly announced and not. (more…)
George Meredith June 28th, 2019
19 February 2019
Ilona Serwicka, Research Fellow in the economics of Brexit at the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Nicolo Tamberi, Research Assistant in Economics for the Observatory.
Earlier this month, Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan made an unexpected U-turn and announced that it was no longer planning to manufacture its new X-Trail SUV model at the Sunderland plant. In a statement, Nissan said that:
‘while we have taken this decision for business reasons, the continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future’.
Yesterday, another Japanese car manufacturer, Honda, said that it was going to close its Swindon plant in 2021, and consolidate its production operations in Japan – a move that is going to put some 3,500 jobs at risk, with more jobs threatened in the supply chain. Early speculation suggests that tariff-free access to the EU is among the factors behind the company’s decision.
Although neither Nissan nor Honda explicitly blamed Brexit for a decision to scale down their operations in the UK, Brexit provides the context for the decisions and for the steps that can be taken to cope with them. (more…)
Charlotte Humma February 19th, 2019