Graham Edwards, chief executive, Wales and West Utilities and CBI Wales Chair
The Welsh Government gaining further powers, coupled with efforts to recover from the economic crisis have resulted in a challenging business environment in Wales.
However, this situation also presents lots of opportunities for business and there are some positive signs.
The role of the CBI in Wales is more critical than ever as it engages with the Welsh Government and Wales Office to ensure business interests are represented and that a credible plan is established to achieve sustainable growth and rebalance the economy.
During my term as Chair I will be ensuring that the CBI continues to play a critical role in shaping the Welsh economy and is the voice of the business community to which our governments turn for input.
I will be looking at how business can work collaboratively to help the public sector to meet its objectives efficiently, to strengthen the Welsh economy and drive forward Wales PLC.
Against a challenging economic backdrop few companies currently have the confidence to invest.
With this in mind CBI has launched its UK workplan for 2012 under the banner ‘securing private sector growth’ and aims to contribute solutions focussed on five key themes which will govern the CBI’s policy and lobbying activity on behalf of members this year.
Alongside this and after consulting with council members, CBI Wales has set additional policy priorities for 2012 here in Wales.
There will be 3 major projects taking place this year: overhauling the planning and permitting system, the business view of education and Wales as a place to invest.
As well as setting the agenda in Wales and providing solutions to the economic problems faced here, the CBI reacts to emerging policy, analysing, critiquing and influencing legislation in order to ensure a better business environment.
The CBI represents businesses across Wales from anchor companies to indigenous SMEs. I look forward to working with many of you on these key issues in order to secure private sector growth and make Wales a great place to invest.
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