Davos summit

Hunt and Reeves seek to charm tech bosses

Rachel Reeves
Rachel Reeves: seeking to be ready from day one (pic: Terry Murden)

The Chancellor and his Labour shadow are promoting their technology credentials at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland.

Both Jeremy Hunt and Rachel Reeves are meeting senior entrepreneurs in a bid to convince them that they have tech-friendly policies.

Mr Hunt will stress that the UK is a world leader in science and technology and ripe for investment from the international business community.

He will meet chief executives from the world’s top-tier companies today and speak about his optimism for the UK’s economic growth and productivity despite global uncertainties, in the first visit to Davos by a UK Chancellor since 2019.

The Chancellor will also champion the UK’s ambition to be a science and technology superpower, as well as how Britain will harness the economic potential of technology.

“I’ll be in Davos to tell the world that Britain, a nation of great innovation, is on the up and open for business,” he said ahead of today’s summit sessions.

“We boast some of the best and brightest businesses in sectors of the future like digital technology and life sciences. It’s these areas of strength that are going to drive growth across the UK economy in years to come.”

Ms Reeves, who has been on a charm offensive in Davos, will host a breakfast meeting, organised by Sriram Krishnan, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm.

She has already met European investors at a breakfast organised by JP Morgan, the Wall Street bank, and FGS Global, the consultancy.

Guests included ​​Thomas Thune Andersen, the chairman of Orsted, the Danish energy multinational, and Markus Krebber, the chief executive of RWE, the German energy group.

Bank of America also has organised an event for Ms Reeves — alongside Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow Business Secretary — to meet potential inward investors to Britain.

“I want a Labour government to be ready from day one to start attracting the jobs and investment in the industries of the future,” she said.

“We are competing in a changing economy and I want the next Labour government to be a part of that change. That job starts this week at Davos.” 

Her biggest challenge will be convincing investors and the markets to support Labour’s plan to raise £28 billion to support its green investment programme.

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