Martin Rogers, executive board director, BAM Group UK Ltd and CBI South East regional chair
Having been an active member of the CBI SE council for a number of years I am delighted to begin my two-year term as the CBI South East regional chairman, taking over the reins from Debbie McGrath who I must congratulate and thank for doing such a fine job.
In addition to being an informal networking opportunity and an unrivalled forum in which to share views on the current state of business and trade, the Council above all, plays a vital role in ensuring that the CBI’s national campaigns reflect the views of businesses in the region.
I am looking forward to working with so many experienced business leaders and council members from a diverse range of business and educational establishments that singles out the South East and Thames Valley as unique and highly influential parts of the country’s economic and business environment.
Throughout 2012, the CBI was vigorous in holding the government’s feet to the fire, by providing a number of solutions based recommendations designed to kick start the ‘Growth Agenda.’
In particular we demonstrated the potential of big infrastructure projects; we set out how the nation’s economy could and should be rebalanced through a reinvigorated industrial strategy; and we produced a groundbreaking report (First Steps) calling for an overhaul of the school system to raise educational attainment.
All three were outstanding examples of where the tremendous input from CBI members added depth and valuable experience to the reports.
These are all great foundations but to make real progress a great deal more building work needs to be done.
To achieve this we have set out our workplan – our own growth agenda - for 2013, under the banner ‘Delivering prosperity through private sector growth.’ The four central pillars will seek to: Get Britain Building; Create a global role for the UK; To encourage high-growth export champions; and Deliver for consumers and communities.
These though will not be in isolation to the many other issues affecting business, so members will continue to contribute to discussions on, for example, aviation, energy, business reputation and of course the economic and business case relevant to the European referendum debate that will gain momentum over the next two years.
So a challenging agenda that I am confident that members and the regional council will rise to.