on don is the capital of the United Kingdom. It ranks as one of the world? s most historic cities, tracing its roots back nearly 2000 years. London has long been a great world port and trading center. The port of London consists of two huge docks and 43 miles of wharves along the Thames River.

London also has a remarkable transportation system. Expressways, and underground and surface railways carry more than one million commuters between the outlying areas and central London each workday. More than 350, 000 commuters travel by subway, about 400, 000 take surface trains and more than 100, 000 go by bus. About 100, 000 people drive their cars to work.

The London subway system (the? tube? ), is the largest subway system in the world. It includes over 100 miles of underground rail lines. London? s famous double decker busses are an excellent source of transportation within the central section of the city. he United Kingdom has an area of 244, 111 square km and a population of 57, 591, 677. It? s population density is 241 people per square kilometer.

89% of the United Kingdom? s population is urban. The United Kingdom has a large portion of flat rolling relief, making it ideal for the 11% of the population that is involved in farming. The UK has about 240, 000 farms, which average about 175 acres in size. 25% of the UK? s land is arable and the chief agricultural products are wheat, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, livestock and dairy products. The United Kingdom? s currency is the British pound, which is equivalent to 2. 45 Canadian dollars.

he United Kingdom is a member of the European Community. All members of this community are engaged in forming a single market for their economic resources. Forming one market, without artificial barriers to trade and investment, the member nations are able to increase their economic efficiency and raise their citizens? standards of living. The members of the community are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. In 1993, the member nations of the European Community formed the European Union. The union consists of three components.

One is the European Community. The others are a common Foreign and security policy and Justice and Home Affairs (this involves cooperation on such issues as crime and immigration). The European Community is a major economic unit. Its members have more people and produce more goods and services than the United States. They import and export more than any one country in the world.

Community members have abolished all tariffs and most other obstacles to the free movement of goods, services, or capital among themselves. Community members participate in the European monetary system (EMS). The EMS encourages trade and investment among community members by stabilizing the exchange rates of its member? s currencies. The European Community has helped increase the economic welfare of its member? s citizens. Members of the European Community enjoy many significant advantages. They are able to exchange goods, tariff free, which is an essential element of their economic growth.

One other significant benefit of the community is the EMS, as it stabilizes the exchange rates of the countries in the community. Since the 1950? s, community members have enjoyed significant economic growth. The UK is an unparalleled member of the European Union and Europe? s most attractive location for international business. It accounts for more than a third of global investment in the European Union and some 40% of the total from the US and Japan. Within Europe itself, cross-border investment in the UK far exceeds that of any other country.

he United Kingdom is one of the world? s greatest trading powers. The UK? s main trading partners are France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. In addition, the United Kingdom is one of the United States? closest allies and British foreign policy emphasizes close coordination with the United States. These two countries share the same language, ideals and democratic practices. The relations between these two countries were strengthened by the UK? s alliance with the United States during both World Wars, the Korean conflict and the Persian Gulf War. The United Kingdom and the United States regularly consult on foreign policy issues and global problems.

The United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, therefore its location is ideal for ship transportation. Shipping is an inexpensive and fairly efficient method of transportation; however, the United Kingdom also has a large number of airports and railways (see transportation). The United Kingdom is also located close to France and Belgium, which are two of its main trading partners, resulting in inexpensive transportation of goods. he UK has an exceptionally well organized system of government. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state; however, a cabinet of senior politicians, known as ministers governs the country.

The prime minister (Tony Blair, elected May 2, 1997) is the head of the government. Parliament is the chief lawmaking body. It consists of the monarch, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. he United Kingdom is said to have an unwritten constitution as it is not all jotted down on one document. Some of it? s written parts are laws passed by Parliament, others come from historic documents (Magna Carta), and common law.

The unwritten part contains ideas and practices that British society has developed over time, such as, the cabinet system of government and the relationship between the cabinet and the monarch. he two largest political parties in the United Kingdom are the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. Much of the Labour Party? s support comes from labor unions, known as trade unions. The Conservative Party (lead by John Major) stems from the Tory Party, which commenced in the late 1600? s. The Labour Party (lead by Tony Blair) began in 1900. Other parties like the Liberal Democrats (Jeremy Ashdown) are minute in comparison to the Conservative or Labour parties.

There are a few nationalist parties in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (Scottish National Party, lead by Alex Salmon) that favor independence from the United Kingdom. he monarchy in Britain can be traced back almost 1, 200 years. The monarch must approve all bills passed by Parliament before they can become laws. No monarch has rejected a bill passed by Parliament since the early 1700? s. he Prime Minister is usually the leader of the political party that has the most seats in the House of Commons. The king or Queen appoints the Prime Minister after each general election.

The monarch asks the Prime Minister to form a government, meaning he has to select ministers to head governmental departments and to hold various offices. The Prime Minister picks about 100 ministers. From them, the Prime Minister selects a special group of about 20 ministers to make up the cabinet. he Cabinet is usually composed of ministers who head the most important governmental departments (the Treasury, the Home Office, the Department of Health etc.

) and watches over the general conduct of the government. The Cabinet decides what new laws and what amendments to existing laws will be introduced to Parliament. The Prime Minister chairs the Cabinet. he largest political party in the House of Commons that opposes the party in power is called Her (or His) Majesty? s opposition. The head of that party is the leader of the opposition. The leader is elected by his or her fellow party members but is paid a salary from government funds.

The opposition has the duty of criticizing the party in power and standing ready to set up a new government. For this reason, the leading members of the opposition party are commonly referred to as the Shadow Cabinet. he Parliament makes the laws of the United Kingdom. The British Parliament has been referred to as the Mother of Parliaments because many of the world? s legislatures have copied features from it. Of the two houses that make up Parliament, the House of Commons, often called simply the Commons, is undisputed ly the more powerful (the other is the House of Lords).

The House of commons has 651 members, elected from the four divisions that make up the United Kingdom. Each member represents a voting district called a constituency. general election must be held at least every five years, however, the Prime Minister may call an election at any time. Practically all British citizens over 18 years old may vote. Members of the nobility and the mentally ill are among those who can? t vote. he United Kingdom is economically and fairly politically stable, however, the religious wars between the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland have only recently subsided.

There have been long standing conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. These conflicts became a serious problem for Britain during the late 1960? s and the 1970? s. In 1969, Britain began sending troops to Northern Ireland, in order to attempt to stop riots there, however, the violence continued. The unstable situation caused a series of political crises during the 1970? s. Britain established direct rule over the country, while attempts were made to form a stable government in which Catholics and Protestants shared power. These conflicts have weakened over time and there is hope that the violence will soon stop permanently.

Now that there is peace, there is evidence of augmenting political stability. any people in Scotland and some in Wales demand complete independence from Britain for their countries. Many others believe Scotland and Wales should have their own legislatures to deal with laws that directly affect their countries. Still others favor no changes in the relations between Scotland and Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom.

In 1979, the British government allowed the people of Scotland and Wales to vote on the question of whether they should have their own legislatures. The voters in both countries failed to approve the establishment of legislatures. It is doubtful that these questionable situations will have any impact on the value of foreign investments. In general, the United Kingdom is regarded as a politically and economically stable country. The controversies between the Protestants and Catholics, as well as the urge for some people in Wales and Scotland to separate are dealt with democratically. n 1988, the government found it crucial to revive the inner cities by means of new housing and development.

They launched an urban renewal program called Action for cities. The government also established areas called enterprise zones to attract new businesses to inner cities. New companies that choose to establish themselves within these enterprise zones receive tax cuts and other advantages. This is a benefit that should not be overlooked by investors. In addition, The Invest in Britain Bureau (IBB) is the only investment agency covering the whole of the UK. It helps the world? s companies to set up or expand business from a British base quickly and smoothly.

The People: Country Labor Force involved in the industrial sector (%) Belgium 27. 7%Finland 27. 5%Hungary 27. 2%The UK 23. 6%Norway 23% he vast majority of the UK? s population speaks English, however, there are some people that speak Welsh, and some that speak Gaelic as well.

The amount of people that speak Welsh and Gaelic is minimal, therefore, it is easy to communicate in English. There are several religions practiced among the people of the United Kingdom. 50% of the population belongs to the Church of England, 10% are Roman Catholic, 4% belong to the Church of Scotland; also several other Protestant dominations, Muslims, Hindus and Jews. There is no religious conflict among the overwhelming majority of the population, however, as mentioned earlier, there are some religious tensions in the north among Protestants and Catholics (refer to political stability above). One of the most impressive facts about the UK is its literacy rate. The UK boasts an astonishing literacy rate of 99% (age 15 or over and has completed five or more years of schooling).

This literacy rate is evidence of an abundance of skilled workers. With the majority of the UK speaking English and belonging to the Church of England, there is little tension among the UK? s population. The high literacy rate indicates that the population is educated and therefore more tolerant of different religions and races and less likely to resort to violence. All this ensures political stability within the country.

The UK has a population growth rate of 0. 24%, which is enough to ensure the pof a fairly nice amount of consumers (note that the population growth rate has increased dramatically in the last ten years and continues to increase). The United Kingdom? s population is composed of numerous ethnic groups. 81.

5% of the population is English, 9. 6% of the population is Scottish, 2. 4% is Irish, 1. 9% is Welsh, 1. 8% is Ulster and 2.

8% is a combination of West Indian, Indian, Pakistani and other. 23. 6% of the labor force is involved in the industrial sector. Industry continues to decline considerably, as the percentage of the labor force involved in industry was approximately 30% early last decade and today the statistic has declined to 23. 6%. One explanation for this decline in industrial workers is that in the past decade society has evolved technologically.

An increasing amount of workers are getting involved in technology and fewer are choosing to work industrially. he population pyramids indicate an aging population, however, this is true for most countries today. As a result of the baby boom, which took place after World War II the population is aging. This has both advantages and disadvantages. One benefit of an aging population is that once the elder generation retires there will be a vast number of jobs available for youth. This elder generation also serve as consumers, so there is an abundance of consumers for the youth to cater to.

On the other hand, the products that the youth produce have to be useful to this elder generation in order for the baby boomers to buy them. One disadvantage to an aging population is that the younger generation will have to support more people when the elder generation retires. The Resources: he United Kingdom is also geographically fortunate. The country has a variety of natural resources, such as: coal, natural gas, petroleum, Iron ore, slate, limestone, various clays, various salts, sulfur, gypsum, potash, and tin. he United Kingdom has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves, and does not import any energy. In fact, as indicated by the chart on the next page, the United Kingdom actually exports 12% of its produced energy.

Fuel burning plants provide about 80 percent of Britain? s electrical power. Nuclear energy provides most of the remaining 20 percent. Natural gas fields under the North Sea provide most of the country's natural gas needs. Petroleum deposits off the coast of Scotland supply enough oil to meet the United Kingdom? s needs. The United Kingdom has a large electric capacity of 65, 360, 000 k Wh. he United Kingdom has 933 km of pipeline that enable crude oil to be transported to required destinations.

There are also 2, 993 km of pipeline designed for the petroleum products and 12, 800 km of pipeline that transport natural gas throughout the country. The Industries: service industries account for about two thirds of the United Kingdom? s GDP. More than 70 percent of British workers are employed in service industries. The country? s service industries are concentrated near its largest cities, especially London. Finance, insurance and real estate is the most important service industry in Britain, and accounts for a larger portion of the UK? s GDP than any other industry. Community, social and personal services rank second among the service industries in the UK.

This industry employs more workers than any other industry. Wholesale and retail trade is the third most important industry in Britain. The most valuable wholesale trading activities include the distribution of petroleum and textiles. he United Kingdom is a leading industrial nation. Britain ranks as an important steel producer, exporting nearly half of it? s finished steel. An increasing percentage of Britain? s manufactured goods consist of sophisticated electronic equipment.

The chemical industry is also flourishing in the UK and the country is one of the world? s chief centers of printing and publishing. The industrial revolution began in Britain? s textile industry. Today, Britain remains an important producer of cotton and woolen textiles, not to mention that Britain has one of Europe? s largest clothing industries. Processing of foods and beverages also ranks as one of Britain? s major industries. he UK has a labor force of 28. 1 million, that receive on average 20.

65 Canadian dollars per hour. er vice industries account for nearly two thirds of the United Kingdom? s gross domestic product (GDP). More than 70 percent of British workers are employed in the service industries. The country? s service industries are concentrated near its largest cities, London in particular. Finance insurance and real estate is the most important service industry in Britain, and accounts for a larger portion of the UK? s GDP than any other industry. Community, social and personal services rank second among the service industries in the UK.

This industry employs more workers than any other industry. Wholesale and retail trade is the third most important industry in Britain. The most valuable wholesale trading activities include the distribution of petroleum and textiles. The United Kingdom is a leading industrial nation. Britain ranks as an important steel producer, exporting nearly half of it? s finished steel. An increasing percentage of Britain? s manufactured goods consist of sophisticated electronic equipment.

The chemical industry is also flourishing in the UK and the country is one of the world? s chief centers of printing and publishing. The industrial revolution began in Britain? s textile industry. Today, Britain remains an important producer of cotton and woolen textiles, not to mention that Britain has one of Europe? s largest clothing industries. Processing of foods and beverages also ranks as one of Britain? s major industries.

London is as well a major fashion capital that is recognized worldwide. The country? s workers are extremely capable and have helped the UK lead the world in many different markets. The UK produces space satellites and weapons defense systems for various nations. Aerospace equipment and heavy machinery are also produced and are major exports in the UK. The workers and their exceptional abilities are what permit the country to develop, and lead in the modern industry of advanced electronics, and many other high skills related industries. The basic key to a successful industry is the right type of workers, and the UK can offer that to you.

This seemingly high hourly wage for the workers are in fact well worth the investors? money, because the UK produces highly intelligent and capable workers for tomorrow? s modern world. 62. 7% of the United Kingdoms? population is involved in the work force. Agriculture employs 2.

2% of the workforce. Industry employs 23. 6% of the workforce. Mining employs 0. 08% of the workforce.

Service industries (banking etc. ) employ 72. 4% of the workforce. The United Kingdom is moving faster and faster away from the monotonous basic industries, and is flourishing into a technologically advanced nation, which produces many high-tech products for tomorrow? s world.

Country Unemployment Rate Finland 16. 6%Belgium 14. 4%Sweden 14. 0%France 12. 7%United Kingdom 6. 7%he United Kingdom? s GDP is 1.

93 trillion Canadian dollars. The annual growth rate of the GDP is 2. 5%, which is an outstanding figure, and is increasing steadily. Country GDP Per Capita (US dollars) Italy 19, 200 Germany 19, 000 France 18, 800 The UK 17, 900 The Netherlands 17, 500 The inflation rate remains regrettably at 2.

6%; however, this embarrassing statistic is insignificant, as the UK? s many other economic advantages easily outweigh its high inflation rate. The unemployment rate of the UK is 6. 7% and is on a downfall. All of these characteristics of the United Kingdom? s economy concoct to form one crucial element: success.

93. 3% of the UK? s population remain a very good consumers market and with the positive growth rate it is ensured that the future will have even better consumers. The agricultural industry in the UK is highly efficient. The work is intensive and accounts for about 60% of food needs using approximately 1% of the work force. According to European standards the United Kingdom is highly efficient. The UK has enormous coal, natural gas, and oil reserves.

These fortunes for the United Kingdom resulted in an industry of energy production that accounts for 12% of the GDP. Consequently this is one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. The United Kingdom seems to be heading in a very positive direction that will ensure the financial safety of any investor, no matter which market he chooses to enter. Country Inflation Rate France 1. 7%Italy 1. 7%Germany 1.

5%Belgium 1. 2%The UK 2. 6%he United Kingdoms? transportation is amongst the most efficient in the world. The UK has 360, 047 kilometers of highway. The country has an excellent system of high-speed motorways that link major cities and towns, resulting in quick commute throughout the country. For large companies who depend upon cheap, efficient transportation the UK is ideal.

With over 80 ports of commercial significance that handle thousands of tons of cargo per day and 2, 291 inland waterways, the UK is easily accessible by all means of water transportation. The 2, 291 inland waterways help cut down on costs of land transportation by being able to have the ship brought closer to the desired destination. The Thames River, which flows directly through London, is Britain? s busiest river and one of the busiest in the world. This river allows for large freight ships to pass through in order to have greater convenience and efficiency. The United Kingdom is closer to North America (where there is a large consumers market) than any other major European country, excluding Ireland, resulting in cheaper export costs. It is also situated in the Atlantic Ocean, which has a direct sea route to North America.

Considering the area of the United Kingdom, it has an astonishing amount of Airports, 505. Within these 505 airports, two are of major significance, Heathrow and Gatwick. These two airports are strategically situated near Britain? s most important city and commercial center, London. This abundance of airports leads to easy air travel to and from the UK. British Airways, a major international airline flies out of all parts of the United Kingdom and operates flights to all parts of the world.

British Airways is also renowned for its cutting edge technology in the commercial airline industry. An extensive rail network crisscrosses the United Kingdom. The widespread railways throughout the country are up to date and are some of the fastest in the world. The railroads are owned by the government and provide excellent high-speed passenger service, as well as freight hauling. All of the 16, 888 kilometers of railroad are simply another means of transporting large quantities of goods throughout the country and throughout Europe. There is no question that with the United Kingdoms outstanding reputation for being one of the most powerful trading forces in the world, more efficient transportation in any other country is hard to come across.

Conclusion re you considering a European expansion? The UK is undoubtedly the preferred location for North American investments in Europe. The facts speak for themselves: Over 4, 200 US companies, including the vast majority of fortune magazine? s top 100 companies have a UK base. Nearly 40% of all US and 45% of Canadian investment in Europe is in the UK (figures from the US Bureau of Labor and statistics Canada). US investment in Britain amounts to some US $120 billion, more than the combined shares of France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

? All that we expect as a major company is here in the UK. ? - Michael Morgan, President and CEO, Star pak inc. When analyzing the various aspects of the United Kingdom, it becomes evident that the UK has many significant advantages over other countries and holds the traits necessary for future expansion. A politically stable and extremely well organized system of government, great relationships and trading arrangements with other nations, tax breaks awarded to new companies and an abundance of skilled workers, are all among the UK? s benefits. The UK is also self-sufficient energy-wise and has a remarkable transportation system. Investing in the UK may be one of the smartest things you have ever done.

It is one of the most sound and secure investments available. The best combination of benefits that offer pro-business conditions, work-force cost efficiency and flexibility, minimum risk, and maximum bottom line return are readily available in the UK. ? Britain draws more foreign investment in new factories, research centers and other business operations than any other country in Europe. ? The New York Times.