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Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Thursday, 22 March 2012

GSK chief: UK competitiveness has improved

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The chief executive of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has said that it is building its first new factory in the UK for almost 40 years because of improving tax competitiveness in UK as well as increasing costs in other countries.

Sir Andrew Witty told the Today programme's Justin Webb that this decision, which looks to create around 1,000 jobs in Cumbria, was in part due to the introduction of a so-called patent box, which would reduce the level of Corporation Tax applied to income from patents.

He conceded that this was an idea started under Labour but said he believed the company will be a "net job creator in the UK" in the coming years.

Sir Andrew said that "business has to make rational decisions based on competitive options and UK competitiveness has significantly improved".

He said he was pushing back against the trend towards locating businesses in countries where labour was cheap because costs were going up and they wanted to "bring work back to Britain.


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