UK to smooth private energy investment in developing nations

The UK is trying to make it easier for British firms to get involved in energy projects in the developing world. That’s according to International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The UK is trying to make it easier for British firms to get involved in energy projects in the developing world.

That’s according to International Development Secretary Priti Patel, who says the world’s poorest nations need more investment to create jobs and build sustainable power infrastructure.

Currently, many companies believe it’s too risky to invest in developing markets because of over-regulation, poor energy supplies and a lack of access to financial services.

The UK is trying to de-risk the process by cutting excessive red tape, linking investors to well-suited opportunities and improving financial services such as insurance in these countries.

One specific area the UK is working to get companies more involved in is improving the national electricity systems of a range of countries across Africa and South Asia.

The additional financing needed to achieve UN Global Goals by 2030 is estimated at $2.5 trillion (£2.02tn) every year but current investment levels are less than half of that.

Firms including Lloyds, Aviva, Prudential, Standard Chartered and the London Stock Exchange have already confirmed they will rise to the challenge.

Ms Patel said: “The UK is giving urgent relief to help millions of people on the brink of starvation but the fact is, without job creation and a healthy economy many of the world’s poorest countries have little chance of developing the resilience needed to overcome future crises.

“With one billion young people entering the job market across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa over the next decade private investment is absolutely vital to help lift people out of debilitating poverty.”

Germany is also working on a finance platform to help developing nations become more sustainable.