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UK Politics

David Cameron predicts £13bn Olympics boost


David Cameron expects the Olympics and Paralympics to boost the UK's economy by £13 billion over the next four years, he will reveal today as he pledges to turn the Games “into gold”.

In a visit to the East Midlands, the Prime Minister will seek to fuel enthusiasm for London 2012, insisting the country is all set for an "outstanding" event at the "stunning" Olympic Park.

Mr Cameron will say he intends to devote his energy to drumming up business on the back of the global event, which will give the Government a chance to sell Britain to the world.

Despite a price tag in excess of £9bn the Games must not be seen as an "expensive luxury in tough times".

"It is precisely because times are tough that we have got to get everything we can out of them to support jobs and growth in the economy," he is expected to say.

"And that's my mission for London 2012. Because we have built the solid foundations for a successful Games, we are able to focus our efforts on making sure they are a boost for Britain.

"It's what I'll be devoting my energy to. Making sure that we turn these Games into gold for Britain. Our inspiration for this should be the Festival of Britain in 1951, which was a showcase of national enterprise and innovation.

"Now, as then, we need to drum up business for Britain - sell Britain to the world on the back of British success."

Over the summer the Government will host a global investment conference and 17 global business summits at Lancaster House, which will bring together British businesses with potential investors and trading partners.

It expects them to generate deals worth £1bn and total £13bn worth of benefit to the UK economy over the next four years. That includes 4.5m extra visitors and £2.3bn worth of spending from extra tourism.

Mr Cameron will add: "No other country in the world has the chance to put on this show and profit from it in the next few years.

"That's why during the Games I'm hosting a global investment conference and 17 global business summits.

"They will bring British businesses together with potential investors and trading partners from around the globe.

"I expect to see benefits to the British economy worth over £1bn. I am confident that we can derive over £13bn benefit to the UK economy over the next four years as a result of hosting the Games.

"I am certain that when you add in the benefits from construction the total gain will be even greater.

"For instance, a study by Lloyds Bank published this week found the Games will contribute £16.5bn to the economy up to 2017.

"Put another way: more than the cost of holding the Games in the first place."

Mr Cameron's official spokesman said the £13 billion figure was calculated by UK Trade and Investment, and included £1 billion in estimated additional sales by British companies, up to £4 billion in high-value opportunities, £6 billion in foreign direct investment, and £2 billion from an increase of around four million in the number of international tourists.

The figures were based on an examination of the impact of earlier Olympics, said the spokesman.