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Anyone worried by how un-British our key industries are?

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#1 ShotgunGold

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:18 PM

I'm far from being a major fan of many state owned businesses, but is anyone else slightly worried about how there has recently been huge investment in key aspects of British industry (and life) by foreign companies?

 

George Osbourne is currently in China (with Boris Johnson) and has recently announced that a key infrastructure and energy project for the UK: a new nuclear power plant in Somerset, is to be allowed to be partially owned by Chinese companies with further allowances towards Chinese companies to own majority stakes. The company that will initially have the majority stake will be the French state-owned giant EDF.

 

I have many many huge concerns over this. There are security concerns: in China the government and large companies very much merge and we need to remember that this will mean China has access to the National Grid and more importantly how our energy system has been constructed and how it is controlled. We need to remember that China is currently sending cyber attacks towards this country and many others. All Chinese firms are answerable to the Communist Party.

 

Secondly there are environmental concerns: Osbourne of course promises that it will be regulated by Britain to British standards but whose to say with some cash these standards don't slip? Thirdly there is the national issue over why the hell we can't invest in our own bloody power anymore? As a country we were pioneers of this form of energy, now we are unable to provide any of the investment towards this new project.

 

I know in our country, what with immigration and our naive belief that "globalisation" is the answer to all our problems, nationality is seen as less of an issue. But as someone who has visited China twice now it's not exactly the case there. In China, Japan and Korea (and even the US and Russia) there is a much stronger sense of national unity and putting your own country first. China wants British money and energy, not British hospitality.

 

All major parties seem to be for this new direction of embracing foreign investment: Labour no doubt have an eye on looming power shortages in 2015, Nick Clegg took a very laissez-faire approach to the issue, and the Conservatives - supposedly the champions and supporters of a patriotic Britain - seem hellbent on selling off absolutely everything to the highest bidder, regardless of who they are or where they're from.

 

Other countries have strict laws. In the US, Australia and Canada foreign companies are prevented from owning key infrastructure. France try to keep key infrastructure nationalised. We seem to take the opposite view.

 

George Osbourne earlier in his trip said "I see China as a great opportunity, not a threat" and the Chinese are now investing in Manchester Airport. Earlier in the year they started to invest in Thames Water.

 

Looking at this from a 50 year perspective I don't think it's good for the country, nor for consumers.

 

BBC - Osbourne agrees to China investing in UK nuclear plants

BBC - Going Nuclear: UK's deal with China (BBC China correspondent)

BBC - Is it a good idea to allow China a stake in UK nuclear?

BBC - Why the Chancellor wants China to invest in UK nuclear (Robert Peston BBC Business comment)

BBC - Manchester Airport to receive investment from China

BBC - The risks of the City becoming China's offshore centre

 

Thoughts?

 

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^ George and Boris in China.


Edited by ShotgunGold, 18 October 2013 - 12:26 PM.


#2 Larry the Leit

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:49 PM

What is a British owned company?  Shares are held globally.  


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#3 RidingPie

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:11 PM

Well in fairness the Chinese are investing in research on new nuclear technologies, which we don't have the money, or the foresight to do. So they may be better placed for those.

#4 JohnM

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 01:24 PM

Not worried for a number of reasons

 

1. Come the revolution we could always just seize control

2. Who actually owns anything anyway?  Companies are global, shareholdings are global, dividends paid globally. 

3. We own well, quite a lot of companies in other countries



#5 ShotgunGold

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:53 PM

Not worried for a number of reasons

 

1. Come the revolution we could always just seize control

2. Who actually owns anything anyway?  Companies are global, shareholdings are global, dividends paid globally. 

3. We own well, quite a lot of companies in other countries

 

1. Yeh sure we can...

2. Did you read the articles? China General Nuclear Power Group CGN is 100% owned by the Chinese government, CNNC is 100% owned by the Chinese government, SNPTC is 100% owned by the Chinese government, EDF is 85% owned by the French government. So no they are not global.

3. Really? Any examples in the fields of nuclear power, energy, water, transport and infrastructure? Preferably in first world countries.


Edited by ShotgunGold, 18 October 2013 - 02:53 PM.


#6 JohnM

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 05:12 PM

You asked for thoughts. You have 'em. Still not worried,  ..nor I suspect are many others.



#7 JohnM

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 06:10 PM

Centrica and Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), the international arm and wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum (QP), agreed to acquire jointly a package of producing conventional natural gas and crude oil assets and associated infrastructure located in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin from Suncor Energy for C$1 billion (£650 million). The acquisition is the first investment under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties in December 2011. The assets will be held in a newly established partnership between Centrica (60% share) and QPI (40% share), which will be operated by Centrica. The assets include proven and probable (2P) reserves estimated by the partners at 978 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe) (90% natural gas). They are located principally in South and Central Alberta where they overlap with existing Centrica assets.

 

 

 

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy services providers. We are active in energy supply and trading and downstream delivery of electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses.http://www.centrica.....asp?pageid=130



#8 Bearman

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 06:34 PM

1. Yeh sure we can...
2. Did you read the articles? China General Nuclear Power Group CGN is 100% owned by the Chinese government, CNNC is 100% owned by the Chinese government, SNPTC is 100% owned by the Chinese government, EDF is 85% owned by the French government. So no they are not global.
3. Really? Any examples in the fields of nuclear power, energy, water, transport and infrastructure? Preferably in first world countries.

Rolls Royce have made quite a few acquisitions in the USA notably the Allison Engine Company ( power plant for Hercules transporter)
They have interests in power generation in Canada.
They also have bought companies in Europe that work in the maritime engineering sector.

Edited by bearman, 18 October 2013 - 06:35 PM.

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#9 JohnM

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 07:23 PM

BAE Systems employs 88,000 people in Australia, India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States . They bought United Defense Industries and Armor Holdings, Inc.in the U.S. and are the 6th largest supplier to the US DoD



#10 stimpo-and-kat

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:17 PM

Rolls Royce have made quite a few acquisitions in the USA notably the Allison Engine Company ( power plant for Hercules transporter)
They have interests in power generation in Canada.
They also have bought companies in Europe that work in the maritime engineering sector.


Most stand by power generation sets in the UK are either manufactured overseas or manufacturers are owned overseas.

FG Wilson have moved production to China. MTU are german (or 'cheap german ######' according to my workshop manager). Both perkins and cummins have production facilities both in the UK and overseas.

#11 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:00 PM

Huawei could take down a significant proportion of the countries telecoms quite easily.


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

#12 Padge

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:21 PM

The Americans won the cold war by economics, the Chinese have learned that lesson, if they have a massive control over your finances you become beholding to them, just as we have been with the yanks following their 'kind' loans during two world wars.

 

America won't buy any chinese technology for government I.T. infrastructure, we let them supply anything. and own anything.

 

This isn't being racist, the same goes for i don't trust the yanks or even the UK government..


Edited by Padge, 18 October 2013 - 10:22 PM.


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#13 Trojan

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 02:00 PM

Most stand by power generation sets in the UK are either manufactured overseas or manufacturers are owned overseas.

FG Wilson have moved production to China. MTU are german (or 'cheap german ######' according to my workshop manager). Both perkins and cummins have production facilities both in the UK and overseas.

Perkins belong to Caterpillar

Edited by Trojan, 19 October 2013 - 02:00 PM.

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#14 Shadow

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:25 PM

Huawei could take down a significant proportion of the countries telecoms quite easily.

How?

Just because it's using Huawei equipment doesn't somehow magically give them control over them, any more than saying Pirelli could take 40% of the cars off the road because they use their tyres.


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#15 stimpo-and-kat

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:25 PM

Perkins belong to Caterpillar

They are but not necessarily built in the UK. Lot of foreign customers are specifically requesting UK built engines.

Cat/perkins are strange ones. I get my.cat spares from cat distributors and perkins spares from FGW distributors. Despite same parent company.

Edited by stimpo-and-kat, 19 October 2013 - 03:28 PM.


#16 Shadow

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:36 PM

 Any examples in the fields of nuclear power, energy, water, transport and infrastructure? Preferably in first world countries.

BP

Shell

Stagecoach

BA

Unilever

JCB

Barclays

GlaxoSmithKline

Vodafone

Tesco

Rio Tinto

Astra Zeneca

Diageo

BAE Systems


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#17 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:14 PM

How?

Just because it's using Huawei equipment doesn't somehow magically give them control over them, any more than saying Pirelli could take 40% of the cars off the road because they use their tyres.

Who provides the 2nd and 3rd line engineering support?  The company that bought the kit or Huawei? 

 

I'll give you a clue, the bloke calling himself 'Dave' doesn't sound very local....


With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

#18 Trojan

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:32 PM

They are but not necessarily built in the UK. Lot of foreign customers are specifically requesting UK built engines.

Cat/perkins are strange ones. I get my.cat spares from cat distributors and perkins spares from FGW distributors. Despite same parent company.

CAT sponsor Leicester, so that's a good reason to boycott them (they are major competitors of mine so that's another!)

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#19 stimpo-and-kat

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 05:51 PM

CAT sponsor Leicester, so that's a good reason to boycott them (they are major competitors of mine so that's another!)


As an employee of an FG Wilson distributor sounds good to me!





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