Olympics legacy: London 2012 Games have given UK £10bn windfall already, say ministers
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Friday 19 July 2013
Lavish hospitality laid on for foreign dignitaries and businessman during the London Olympics has helped British companies secure contracts and agreements abroad worth £1.5bn in areas including oil drilling in Brazil and nuclear power in Jordan.
A government report into the economic legacy of the 2012 Games published today estimates that the sporting extravaganza has garnered a £9.9bn windfall in trade and investment for the battered economy, potentially rising to £41bn by 2020.
The study highlights the importance of the British Business Embassy, held in the chandelier-bedecked surroundings of Lancaster House where delegations from Brazil to China were schmoozed last summer with Michelin-starred cuisine to help win new deals.
The Independent revealed last year that the Government had drawn up a list of 50 investment projects around the world – ranging from controversial oil exploration in Kazakhstan to building Russian railways – which ministers and officials were expected to target during the Games.
The report by UK Trade and Investment said that in the 12 months since the Olympics and Parlaympics, “High Value Opportunity” contracts worth £1.5bn had been won in locations including Singapore and Saudi Arabia due to “credentials established through London 2012 and UKTI-led events”.
The agency said an energy forum at the “Embassy”, attracting more than 570 delegates, had helped lay the groundwork for contracts including £950m of business related to oil drilling in Brazil and Nigeria. Delegates from Jordan and the Czech Republic, where Britain is working to develop civil nuclear programmes, also attended events at the building. A separate event at Lancaster House also helped secure a deal with India to co-operate on urban planning.
The “Embassy” in Lancaster House was an attempt to rekindle the success of events such as the 1951 Festival of Britain by presenting a “showcase of national enterprise and innovation”. Visitors were presented with tablet computers highlighting British products and promised “visionary menus and food presentations”.
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said: “There is no doubt that the London 2012 Games proved a success story for British business. This has created a multi-billion pound business springboard to take British expertise to the world.”
The UKTI report said the Olympics had also helped secure significant inward investment, including the targeting of up to £10bn spending by Qatar. The gas-rich emirate, which is hosting the 2022 football World Cup and has awarded contracts in excess of £70m to British design firm Atkins, is considering investments in energy plants, roads and the Thames “super-sewer”.
Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
CM Punk 'never ever ever' returning to WWE (so he probably will)
Tottenham and Arsenal in battle for Douglas Costa? Brazil forward opens up Shakhtar Donetsk exit possibility
Manchester United transfer news: Completed summer deals
James Rodriguez joins Real Madrid: World Cup top scorer completes £63m move
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia