UK's Economic Strengths
The UK has a world-class reputation for design and innovation, especially in premium brands, and some of the most productive manufacturing plants in Europe. It is at the forefront of new green technology, with significant proportions of the £5.8bn of investment announced by UK manufacturers and their supply chains since 2010 going on low-carbon automotive.
- Establish a ‘Catapult Centre’ to research and develop technology for low-carbon vehicles
- Prioritise funding in UKTI's budget for automotive expert promotion in high-growth markets
The UK is a key R&D and high-tech manufacturing location for globally important industry players, who benefit from its excellent universities and established strengths in engine and wing design, material technologies and advanced system design.
- Commit to support aerospace R&D projects for the full duration of their development
- Ensure the R&D tax credit for businesses engaged in defence contracts as it moves to the new ‘above the line’ accounting system
The UK has strong links between chemical production and use – meaning it has integrated, innovative value chains reaching into education and the research sectors. As a world leader in formulation science, speciality chemicals and novel pharmaceuticals, the UK is ideally positioned to lead in growth fields such as industrial biotechnology.
- Reform health body the National Institute of Clinical Excellence ahead of Value-Based Pricing, to ensure medicines are not simply judged on how cost-effective they are
- Exempt energy intensive industries such as chemicals from additional costs as a result of the implementation of Electricity Market Reform to preserve international competitiveness
The UK boasts significant and diverse activity in the food and drink sector, from farms through to highly productive manufacturing plants and celebrated retailers. It has many internationally recognised brands and high levels of innovation - some 50,000 new product variants were launched between 2005 and 2011. The UK is a world leader in areas including health food and premium ready meals.
- Focus on supporting export promotion for the UK food and drink industry, with resource in UKTI set aside to helping SMEs enter non-EU markets that have the greatest potential to grow
- Support universities to incorporate short food and drink-focused courses within science and engineering degrees
Industrial expertise and research strengths in biotechnology, maths, advanced materials, control systems, electronics, engine technology and energy management drives growth. Specific strengths range from green manufacturing and alternative fuels to tidal power demonstrators and services such as carbon trading and environmental consultancy.
- Enact the Energy Bill with requisite detail as soon as possible to ensure investor confidence
- Scrap the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) and replace with a time-limited simple energy tax
technology & services sector
The UK is a world-leading global hub for high-end services - second only to the US in exports, but three times bigger per capita. Its expertise lies not only in financial services, where it has the largest market share in the world, but also in business services with a total of 14% of global market share and number one world status for insurance, computer and information services.
- Boost the UK's international competitiveness by delivering the 22p corporation tax rate and committing to reducing the rate to 18p in the long-term
- Ensure the UK is an attractive market for high-quality talent by benchmarking its personal tax regime against global competitors
The UK has a huge back catalogue of creative content to draw upon including music, literature and film, plus star performers and a strong pipeline of new ideas. It also has internationally recognised brands, companies and talent in a broad range of sectors.
- Enhance digital literacy through the education system so the next generation of employees can programme computers as well as use them
- Ensure the 4G spectrum auction stays on track for 2013 to give businesses the confidence required to invest