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UK industrial strategy a ‘landmark opportunity’ for a modern economy

The government’s industrial strategy is an opportunity to reset policy so that it reflects changing technology and a move towards a zero-carbon economy according to the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).

23 JAN 2017 | CHRIS SEEKINGS
Technology could 'redefine business and industry as we know it' ©Shutterstock
Technology could 'redefine business and industry as we know it' ©Shutterstock


The coalition of 24 leading European businesses, including SKY, EDF and Tesco argues that Britain must engage with "the world as it will be, rather than as it was" in its UK Industrial Strategy: Navigating a changing world discussion paper.

It identifies three major challenges facing the UK, which include boosting sluggish economic growth and stagnating productivity, promoting greater regional development, and moving toward a sustainable economy with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

CLG director, Jill Duggan, said: “The world is changing: new technologies and innovation have the potential to redefine business and industry as we know it.

“With Brexit, the UK has the chance to reset policy and not be left behind. It is essential that our new industrial strategy is clear, ambitious and targeted enough to deliver a modern, prosperous, inclusive, and zero-carbon economy.”

The government is expected to produce a green paper today, which will set out ways they can provide support to businesses by addressing regulatory barriers, and agreeing trade deals.

The CLG’s paper identifies four trends that the strategy should respond to:

• A growing demand for different types of industrial products, partly as a result of digitalisation
• The move to a sharing economy where services are sold in place of physical objects
• Changes in the way industrial products are produced, including as a result of increased reuse and recycling
• Changes to the nature and availability of key inputs, including energy.

“A modern industrial strategy will be a landmark opportunity to build a successful, modern economy as the foundation for a prosperous, fairer and more inclusive society,” the Confederation of British Industry director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn, said.

“It must help fix the country’s productivity problems and remove the regional inequalities that have dogged our country for generations, having a positive impact on living standards, wages and the future opportunities of many people.

“Our members across every region and nation of the UK will have a fundamental role to play to help shape the thinking and – most importantly – deliver the impact we all want to see.”