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UK investment aid rebranded – statement by Chair, Sarah Champion MP

25 November 2021

The UK’s development finance institution, formerly known as ‘CDC’, has been rebranded by the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss MP, as ‘British International Investment’. Ms Truss launched the newly-named institution, which is entirely owned by the government, at the opening of the London Stock Exchange this morning.

The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, said

“This is more than a name change and we will watch this carefully. To start with, the word ‘development’ has been taken out of the title. That’s a worrying sign.

“But beyond that I note that the Foreign Office says British International Investment (BII) will be ‘part of the UK’s network of liberty […] delivering jobs and growth in both the UK and the developing world’.

“My Committee certainly supports investments which create UK jobs. But the Number One priority of a development finance institution must be tackling poverty in lower income countries – that’s what development finance institutions are for. I want to see a clear commitment from BII to fight poverty. The poorest and most vulnerable must not be left behind.

“In a recent report on climate change by the International Development Committee, that I chair, we criticised the former CDC group for investing in the fossil fuel sector – a clear contradiction to the government’s promises to tackle climate change. I want to see a commitment to stop fossil fuel investments as well.

“The Foreign Secretary said BII will invest billions in infrastructure. But this is just one part of what developing countries need – where is the commitment to education, better nutrition and decent health services? Working hard in these areas is more important than a name-changing ceremony”.

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