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UK needs to have 'eyes wide open' on foreign investment - Sunak

FILE PHOTO: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks to employees during a visit to the Worcester Bosch factory in Worcester, Britain, July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain needs to take an “eyes wide open” approach to foreign investment due to the risk of intellectual property theft by hostile countries, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Friday.

Sunak said the government should not try to pick winners, and that openness to foreign investment was generally a benefit for the British economy.

“But we really need to be eyes wide open because, sadly, in the world in which we’re living there are hostile state actors that come to invest and try to extract technology out of the UK, or indeed jobs,” he said in an online discussion on the professional networking platform LinkedIn.

“We’re tightening up all our rules and laws around that to give us greater powers to intervene,” he added.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg

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