INTERNATIONAL NEWS: GCI to help government body persuade foreignfirms to invest billions into UK

LONDON: Invest.UK, the government agency responsible for

encouraging foreign firms to invest billions of pounds in Britain, has

retained GCI London to handle its PR.



This is the first time Invest. UK has appointed an external PR

agency.



GCI, awarded after a three-way pitch, will support a ten-strong in-house

marketing and communications team at Invest.UK.



The decision follows a rebranding last year when the organization,

formally the Invest in Britain Bureau, was renamed in an attempt to

attract more technology firms.



'There are regional bodies encouraging inward investment but this is the

national agency doing that,' said GCI director Rhodri Harries.



'This is a high-profile account win helping a client with a hugely

important job to do for Britain,' he said.



Harries heads GCI's three-strong account team and reports to Peter

McDermott, Invest.UK's marketing and communications director.



Invest.UK is funded through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the

Department of Trade and Industry.



From 1999 to 2000, more than 52,000 jobs were created in the UK by

foreign firms. According to Invest.UK, Britain receives about 40% of

Japanese, US and Asian investment to the European Union.



Latest figures show that at the end of March 2001 total inward

investment into the UK amounted to pounds 323 billion (dollars 464

billion), an increase of 35 percent over the previous year.



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