Theresa May has pledged to introduce the "lowest corporation tax in the G20" hinting she could put it lower than even US president elect Donald Trump's proposed 15% rate.
During an address to the CBI, and ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, she also pledged an extra £2bn a year in funding for research and development for UK businesses by 2020.
The prime minister said the UK government would deliver "one of the most competitive corporate tax regimes in the world" by slashing back corporation tax and increasing research and development tax credits – from £1bn to almost £2.5bn a year.
In her first speech to the CBI Annual Conference she outlined what the government has called a strategy that "will build on the country’s strengths and address the long-term structural challenges which can hold British businesses back".
Ms May also announced an Industrial Strategy Challenge fund to back emerging priority technologies such as robotics and biotechnology, and a review of current research and development tax incentives to ensure the global competitiveness of the UK as a home for scientists, innovators and tech investors.
But she told the audience at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London that the government would not prop up "failing industries" or pick winners, but would create the conditions where winners can emerge and grow.
She said: "Our modern industrial strategy will be ambitious for business and ambitious for Britain.
"It is a new way of thinking for government – a new approach. It is about government stepping up, not stepping back, building on our strengths, and helping Britain overcome the long-standing challenges in our economy that have held us back for too long.
"It is about backing those winners all the way, to encourage them to invest in the long-term future of Britain. And about delivering jobs and economic growth to every community and corner of the country."
G20 members include the UK, the US, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, and the European Union (EU).