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The recent collapse of the British steel industry has demonstrated the problems of an economy reliant on services and external financing. As UK manufacturing’s competitiveness has declined – partly due to a strengthening pound – regional imbalances have grown, productivity has sagged and economic growth has been sluggish.
But the issues facing our manufacturing industries have been neglected. A quick survey of headline figures reveals the problem we face. The national export balance is continuing to weaken. The balance of firms reporting improvements in export sales remains below its pre-recession peak. And the pound is at a seven year high against the euro, the currency of our largest export destination. The role of sterling in the steel industry’s woes means this is now a question of urgent national concern.
Sterling’s strength has been caused in part by inflows of foreign capital that finance our current account deficit but often do not increase the productive capacity of the economy. The long-term economic security and prosperity of all regions of the United Kingdom depends on a new, more holistic approach to economic and industrial policy that addresses this issue.
We delighted to welcome a range of speakers to discuss these issues at this event, which will coincide with the launch of our latest paper, Make or Break: How sterling can drive Britain’s manufacturing renaissance. It will set out how Britain can manufacture its way towards UK-wide economic prosperity, productivity and opportunity.
To register please visit the event page here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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