Sunak to meet business leaders for talks on boosting economy

Rishi Sunak is to discuss trade issues on Friday with executives from companies including Airbus, HSBC, Legal & General and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

The prime minister will hold talks on Friday with executives from some of the world’s biggest companies as he seeks fresh ideas to boost Britain’s economic prospects.

Sky News understands that Rishi Sunak will attend a meeting of the UK Investment Council, which counts executives from Airbus, HSBC, the 3 UK owner Hutchison Whampoa, Nestle and Nissan among its members.

The agenda for the discussion, which will be chaired by Lord Johnson, the investment minister, will focus on "how business and government [can] work together to encourage growth in the current economic climate", according to a copy seen by Sky News.

It will also examine "what specific approaches would help retain existing investors, as well as attract more investment deals and new investors to the UK".

The UK Investment Council was established in April 2021 under Lord Grimstone, the former Standard Life chairman who was Lord Johnson's predecessor.

It meets on average twice a year.

Council members include the head of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, the outgoing Legal & General CEO Sir Nigel Wilson and Liv Garfield, the Severn Trent CEO.

Mr Sunak is likely to participate in the meeting remotely while Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, may also attend, according to one insider.

The meeting will come days after Mr Sunak unveiled a shake-up of Whitehall departments that will see business and trade brought together under Kemi Badenoch.

A Downing Street spokesperson declined to comment.