CBI launches plan for 'dynamic' economy

The UK's leading business organisation published its blueprint on Monday aimed at making the nation "the most competitive, dynamic and future-focused economy in the world".

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) plan, 'Seize the Moment', identifies six ways to transform the economy after the "shocks" businesses have suffered as a result of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.Tony Danker, CBI director-general, said that failure to make bold changes now would result in the economy returning to the persistently low productivity and heightened social division that followed the 2008 financial crisis.“This country will never have a greater opportunity to transform our economy and society for the better than we have right now," he said.“This is the moment where we have a genuine chance to make big bets on how the UK economy will grow and compete. To use that appetite to invest, to collaborate globally after a decade of protectionism.“To lift thousands of young people out of limbo, so they can reach their potential. And to build on that bond between employers and employees closer than ever before.“We have a grand plan for the whole nation. On the face of it, you might think that only some firms can benefit; we see prizes for everyone.“I know we have much to worry about in the short run. The Covid-19 crisis is far from over. It’s not easy for many trading in a new regime with the EU. Many firms have a lot of debt and uncertainty about the future. But we know from crises that new realities are shaped.”The six 'Seize the Moment' areas identified by the CBI are:
  •  A decarbonised economy, winning the global race to net-zero. For example, the UK could capture £8bn in additional revenues from hydrogen electrolyser production.
  • An innovation economy, breakthrough ideas and technologies, adopted by all. For example, greater AI diffusion could add £38 billion to UK GVA in 2030.
  • A globalised economy, making the UK a trading powerhouse. As an example, around £20 billion in additional UK GVA in 2030 from share in seven high-priority, country-sector combinations such as financial services in ASEAN countries.
  • A regionally thriving economy, with every region and nation playing to their own comparative global strengths. This would be realised by a new commitment to scaling up local economic clusters such as renewables in the North East or advanced manufacturing in the West Midlands.
  • An inclusive economy, where employers recruit more diverse talent from all corners of society and support employees with credible reskilling programmes. Closing future UK skills gaps could provide a £150 billion uplift to GVA by 2030.
  • A healthier nation, with better employee health and wellness seen as the foundation of firm level productivity and national economic growth. For example, additional £180 billion GVA uplift in 2030, driven by health interventions inside and outside the workplace.
“Our plan is to make the UK the most competitive, dynamic and future-focused economy in the world (and) become a beacon to the world in achieving green growth," said Mr Danker."Decarbonising our economy is a planetary imperative, we can use our transition to net zero to create green jobs, to find sustainable solutions and sell them to the rest of the world.“We can turn up the dial on UK innovation investment to make the UK the best place in the world to start and scale up a business. If we want to be a trading powerhouse, we need more UK firms to export – diversifying the products and services, and markets that they sell to.“And we simply must deliver better growth and greater shared prosperity in the regions and nations of the UK. Our long-standing history of productivity and income disparities have held us back."If we want to level up our country, we need companies to strengthen their regional footprint and investment, to work with government to truly play to local strengths. We need to work together at every level – with ministers, mayors, local partnerships and beyond.”

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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