CBI: We need a new approach to industrial policy, says CBI Wales
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We need a new approach to industrial policy, says CBI Wales

'To rebalance the economy and secure long-term growth we have to get the underlying economic conditions right'

Emma Watkins_559

This article appeared in the Western Mail Wednesday 4 April 2012

The CBI is speaking to businesses across the UK as to what a new industrial policy should look like, and members in Wales will be given the chance to have their say next month, writes Emma Watkins.

We have some great examples of modern industry here in Wales, from Qioptiq in the north making some of the most advanced optical lenses in the world; to Control Techniques in the middle making high optimum drives; through to Alcatel in the south who are blazing a trail in the development of telecommunications and networks as we try to keep pace with this ever changing world.

What do these companies need from a new industrial policy? Speaking to colleagues across the border, it is pleasing to learn that Wales is once again leading the way in this area. Wales is delivering much faster on funding and support to companies, as evidenced by the Welsh Government’s recent moves on the economic growth fund – providing support at a faster rate than the Regional Growth Fund and their recent positive work with “anchor companies”.

This week’s announcements on enterprise zones and the particular opportunities being offered to those high value added manufacturers in the Deeside Enterprise Zone are another welcome step.

To rebalance the economy and secure long-term growth we have to get the underlying economic conditions right.

That is why the CBI continues to call for targeted tax measures to make an impact on business investment decisions now. For the longer-term we have to be even more ambitious, but practical too.

Emma Watkins is director of CBI Wales
 

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