| LONDON, April 10
LONDON, April 10 Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor
Co said on Tuesday it will invest $200 million to build
a new hatchback in Britain as British Prime Minister David
Cameron began a tour of Japan and Southeast Asia aimed at
boosting trade and investment links.
The new car, which does not yet have a name, will create 225
jobs at Nissan's Sunderland factory in northern England and 900
more at component companies supplying Nissan in Britain.
Production is due to start in 2014.
The new investment is on top of $200 million Nissan said in
March it would spend to build its new Invitation compact vehicle
from mid-2013 in Sunderland and will take manufacturing capacity
at Britain's biggest car plant beyond 550,000 vehicles a year.
"Nissan's investment in the UK is a huge vote of confidence
in the skills and flexibility of the UK workforce. We want to
attract more investment like this," said Cameron, due to hold
talks later on Tuesday with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko
Cameron's two-year-old coalition government, which is trying
to boost British manufacturing to lessen reliance on financial
services rocked by the 2008 global crisis, backed the new Nissan
investment with 8.2 million pounds ($13 million) of funding.
The car industry has been a bright spot for the stagnating
British economy with Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover,
owned by India's Tata Motors, recently announcing new
British investments, although there are questions over the
future of GM's Ellesmere Port plant.
Cameron also aims to boost British growth and lessen
reliance on trade with crisis-hit euro zone countries by doing
more business with fast-growing Asian economies and emerging
markets around the world.
Cameron's tour of Japan and Southeast Asia, accompanied by
35 executives from companies including defence giant BAE Systems
, engineer Rolls-Royce and oil major Shell
, is the latest in a series of similar trips to key
In all, British officials say, more than 200 million pounds
of Japanese investment in Britain will be announced during
Cameron's visit, including a Mitsubishi wind turbine
research project in Edinburgh and a Panasonic fuel cell
research centre in Cardiff.
DEFENCE, NUCLEAR ON AGENDA
Cameron and Noda are expected to discuss cooperation on
defence manufacturing, nuclear decommissioning and free trade,
as well as the violence in Syria and relations with Iran and
Architecture and infrastructure firms and nuclear industry
representatives are accompanying Cameron, reflecting British
hopes for a slice of the vast sums Japan has set aside to clean
up and reconstruct regions devastated by last year's earthquake
Swathes of coastal northern Japan were washed away and the
Fukushima nuclear power complex north of Tokyo was wrecked,
releasing radiation and forcing 80,000 people to evacuate.
"British companies have significant expertise in nuclear
decommissioning and clean-up, with 19 nuclear sites in the UK
currently being managed through the process," Cameron said.
On defence, Cameron hopes to capitalise on Tokyo's recent
decision to relax its self-imposed decades-old ban on military
equipment exports, which could open the way to the joint
development of arms by Japanese and British firms.
Cameron also hopes to make progress on securing a free trade
agreement between the European Union and Japan. Both sides
agreed to prepare for talks on a deal last year.