China's Huawei to spend $2 bln in Britain

Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies on Wednesday said it would invest $2.0 billion (1.5 billion euros) in Britain and roughly double its workforce in the country within five years.

"Huawei (has) committed to investing $1.0 billion and to spend another $1.0 billion in procurement in the UK over the next five years," the IT giant announced in a statement overnight.

"Huawei already employs over 800 people in the UK and has today committed to increasing its workforce to over 1,500 by 2017."

The Chinese firm said $1.0 billion would be spent on projects including research and development, while another $1.0 billion on buying components.

The announcement followed a meeting on Tuesday between British Prime Minister David Cameron and Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei.

Shenzhen-based Huawei, which is the world's second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment after Sweden's Ericsson, works alongside all major telecoms operators and broadband Internet providers in Britain.

"The investment announced by Huawei... demonstrates once again that the UK is open for business," Cameron added in the statement.

"I welcome this and I want to see more companies invest in the UK as we work to achieve sustainable and balanced growth within our economy.

"The British government values the important relationship with China, both countries have much to offer each other and the business environment we are creating in the UK allows us to maximise this potential," Cameron said.

Ren said Britain was one of the most important markets in which the group had invested.

"The UK is a centre of innovation, has a highly skilled workforce, and is respected internationally for the quality of its legal and educational systems," he said.

"It is for these reasons we have selected the UK as the location for a number of our centres of excellence. I would like to thank our UK customers and partners, as well as the British government, for their continued support."

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