British International Investment

Annual Review 2021: Foundations for the future

Message from the CEO

I am proud to present our Annual Review 2021: Foundations for the future, our first as British International Investment.

2021 culminated in the announcement of our new name and a new five-year strategy, both of which cement our role as a central part of the UK Government’s international financing offer for development and climate.

Over the last year we have focused on building the strong foundations that are needed to deliver our new five-year strategy. This progress can be seen across many areas of our work.

First, it’s clear in our ambitious pace of new investments. In 2021, we made almost £1.9 billion of new, impact-led commitments – our highest ever annual commitment figure and an over 50 per cent increase compared with 2020.

But it’s not just about the pace of our investments. Over the year we’ve focused on areas that will lay the strong foundations needed to enable emerging economies to prosper as they respond to the triple crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and poverty. This includes:

  • investing over £720 million in the infrastructure needed to boost economic growth and transform the prospects of millions of people, including over £330 million in renewable energy;
  • embracing our role as a climate investor, committing £479 million in climate finance, our highest ever amount, and playing a central part of the UK Government’s climate-financing commitment for emerging economies;
  • forging strong partnerships, including working closely with the UK Government in the countries where we invest, and with British businesses that share our aims.
    Putting foundations like these in place has been particularly important during times of global uncertainty, which have had an impact on investor confidence and make our role as a development finance investor both additionally important and challenging.

I am proud of what we’ve achieved in 2021 and in our 2017-21 strategy period more broadly, especially our transition to becoming more focused on impact than ever before. Our new strategy allows us to go even further, to invest in support of productive, sustainable and inclusive development. Over the next five years, we will build on our successful track record, with new ambition for scale and innovation.

Best wishes

Nick O’Donohoe
Chief Executive, British International Investment

The year in numbers


Committed to businesses


Of climate finance commitments


Workers employed in our portfolio


Terawatt hours of electricity generated by our investments


Laying the foundations for economic growth

We are building the foundations needed for modern, stable and flourishing economies. From strong infrastructure, to increasing access to digital networks, to investing in the financial institutions that support supply chains and facilitate trade.

Learn more about how our investments are supporting these aims here [desktop only] or turn to page 12 in the Review.

Impact on people

We invest to make a lasting difference to people’s lives, in line with our commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, beginning with Goal 1 on eliminating poverty.

Our investments make a difference in a variety of ways, such as supporting livelihoods through the creation of jobs, advancing women’s economic empowerment and improving access to goods and services.

Learn more about our impact on people here [desktop only] or turn to page 16 in the Review.

Addressing climate change

Countries in emerging and developing economies remain the most vulnerable to the impact of the climate emergency, and the least equipped to respond to it.

Our goal is to play a meaningful role in tackling climate change by supporting countries and communities in a successful and just transition to net-zero and resilient economies. This year, we committed our largest ever amount of climate finance in a single year: £479 million.

Learn more about our impact on the planet here [desktop only] or turn to page 23 in the Review.

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