Chinese telecoms company Huawei has promised to spend £1.2bn in investment and procurement in the UK over the next five years.
In a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron, Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, said the company would invest £600m in research and development, and around £600m in local procurement.
As part of this commitment Huawei will invest in a number of global centres of technical and financial excellence in the UK, said the company.
Huawei currently employs over 800 people in the UK, with plans to increase this to 1,500 by 2017.
“The British Government values the important relationship with China. Both countries have much to offer each other, and the business environment we are creating in the UK allows us to maximise this potential," said Cameron.
We have selected the UK as the location for a number of our centres of excellence
Ren Zhengfei, CEO, Huawei
Zhengfei said: ‘‘The UK is a centre of innovation, has a highly skilled workforce, and is respected internationally for the quality of its legal and educational systems. It is for these reasons we have selected the UK as the location for a number of our centres of excellence.”
The news follows the announcement by business secretary Vince Cable that the government will support the IT sector as a key area of industry for the UK economy.
“Huawei’s decision to expand its research and development base here in Britain and its commitment to purchase components from local suppliers is very welcome,” said Cable.
“ICT is one of the sectors where Britain already has a competitive advantage and the government is determined to provide a stable, supportive climate which supports its future development,” he added.