Business leaders recommend steps to make the UK ‘best in class’ in all disciplines
17 July, 2013
HMG should expand alumni networks to capitalise on an ‘Affinity with Britain’ by building capacity in education, research and the development of global commercial and technical standards to stay ahead in the ‘global race’, say leading UK businesses.
Opportunities for growth: UK business perspectives of emerging markets
Wednesday 3 July (WP1250)
On 3 July, in association with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we held a dinner debate to discuss the importance of efficient economies and predictable business environments to UK businesses. A small group of UK business leaders were joined by Minister of State, Hugo Swire, and senior representatives from the FCO to offer perspectives on what the government could do at home and overseas to ensure that the UK remains a global economic leader. Hosted by Simmons & Simmons in London, the discussion produced a number of key recommendations to support UK businesses, with the group concluding that the government needs a coordinated approach that builds capacity, utilises and strengthens the UK’s current assets, and expands national expertise into new areas. Participants agreed that the UK needs to better preserve its intellectual capital, with the group recommending more focus on education, steps to prevent domestic and international alumni becoming a wasted asset, and that there be greater investment in research and development to re-set the UK as a leader in the creation of global standards for commerce and technology. The group recognised that the UK has lacked investment in new arenas, such as energy infrastructure, energy-intensive industries and aviation. The UK should build on its reputation as a global leader in professional services, particularly the English legal system in order to be ‘best in class’ in all disciplines. The UK should be promoted as a platform for accessing the rest of Europe – however it was felt that leaving the EU would jeopardise this position and result in a weakening perception of the UK as a global economic power. It was also felt that the electorate is not informed about the value of belonging to the EU. Looking outward, HMG should target a small pool of countries and build capacity where appropriate, as well as offer the same Ministerial support to the top 150 UK companies as it does to investors in the UK. These steps, the group concluded, will help to ensure that the UK stays ahead in the ‘global race’.
Conference report from Opportunities for growth: UK business perspectives of emerging markets