BERLIN — Siemens remains committed to Britain despite the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, according to Juergen Maier, the UK CEO of the German engineering giant.
Maier said that Siemens, which employs 15,000 people across the UK, will push ahead with plans to invest €1 billion (£860 million) into startups across London (and Berlin) that are focusing on areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality.
“We are ever more interested in investing in startup tech companies, particularly in the field of industrial digitisations,” said Maier, adding that the investments will be made through Siemens’ Next 47 initiative.
“Brexit causes uncertainty but we believe London and Britain will remain open for business,” said Maier. “We will continue to invest there.”
Maier made his comments at WeWork in Berlin on Monday during a trade mission event organised by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional agency.
Siemens is the latest multinational to insist its operations in Britain, and especially London, will not be affected by the EU referendum vote on June 23. Elsewhere, Google has put forward a £1 billion investment plan for a new headquarters in King’s Cross, Facebook is adding an additional 500 jobs to its office in London, and Apple revealed its plans for new headquarters in Battersea.
Earlier this year, Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, announced it will open an international hub in London, while Amazon announced the creation of thousands of new jobs and the opening of a new London HQ in 2017.
Maier added: “I think it’s important to remain calm and get on with our business. I can tell you that’s what we’re doing.”
Siemens is behind a number of major engineering projects in Britain. In London, for example, it has developed the congestion charge system, as well as the signalling system on London Underground’s Victoria Line. It is also behind the London Array Wind Farm, which generates 20% of London’s total energy, according to Maier.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who pulled out of the Berlin trade mission due to the Westminster attack, said in a statement: “London is the world’s greatest commercial centre but retaining our place at the top is always tough.
“This commitment by Siemens helps send the message loud and clear that London remains open to talent, investment and ideas. Our connections on the continent have never been more important and, regardless of Brexit, we will continue to work closely together to our mutual benefit.”
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