US, India biggest investors in London


"Think London", the foreign direct investment agency for London, said Wednesday as it exceeded its targets for the 2008-09 financial year after helping 178 businesses from 26 countries set up or expand.
Leading the way were 56 investments from American companies, followed by 22 from India, and 12 each from Japan and China. The US and India also ranked one and two in the financial year 2007-08.
Rick Sagger, general manager (Britain and offline Europe) for Kingfisher Airlines - an Indian company that has invested in London in the last 12 months, said: “We are grateful to Think London for presenting us with unrivalled access to the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) markets. We strongly recommend other Indian businesses take advantage of this opportunity.”
Kingfisher, India's first and only five-star airline connecting 64 cities, set up its European headquarters in London, creating 100 new jobs in the next three years.
Think London's Annual Review released Wednesday said 6,190 jobs were created or safeguarded - up slightly over the previous year's figure - and the investments contributed over 700 million pounds ($1.15 billion) to London's economy.
The information and communication technology (ICT) sector topped the table for investing industries, said Think London chief executive Michael Charlton.
“There has never been a better time to invest in London, with favourable exchange rates against most major currencies, lower property costs, depreciating asset values and a wider and deeper pool of available labour in London,” he said.
Investing companies included Alibaba.com (China), the world's largest online marketplace; Gorilla Nation (US), the world's largest online advertising sales representation company; and Microsoft (US), the world's largest computer software company that has opened its Search Technology Centre in London.

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