The Confederation of British Industry has called for government action to strengthen the supply chains underpinning key industrial sectors, in a new report, Raising the Bar – Business Priorities for Industrial Strategy.
Launching the report CBI director-general John Cridland said: “We’re at a commercial tipping point, and delivering a coherent industrial strategy will undoubtedly boost confidence about the UK’s long-term success. For me this means three things: taking action to further improve the competitiveness of the UK’s business environment, strengthening supply chains that underpin our key growth sectors, and raising the bar on implementation by both business and government.”
Research by the CBI found that:
* 51 per cent of businesses surveyed are confident UK business conditions will improve in the next five years while 48 per cent are not confident
* The UK trails behind its competitors on a number of critical indicators – performing relatively poorly on infrastructure, access to finance, education and skills, regulation, and percentage of GDP spent on research and development
* 60 per cent of businesses surveyed are still unclear about what the UK’s industrial strategy is hoping to achieve
* 63 per cent of businesses surveyed think government funding and policy doesn’t strategically support the UK’s competitive advantages.
The report said: “Above all else, targeted action to strengthen the supply chains underpinning key sectors should now be prioritised. If we rise to this challenge and act to boost supply chain capabilities, the benefits for the UK could be significant, with the potential to increase economic value captured here; for example, the offshore wind sector has the potential to capture 60 per cent of the overall value of investment into the sector by 2030, but at the moment only around one third of the contracts secured for new developments come from the UK.
“Action should be focused on improving understanding of supply chains to help target weaknesses and reinforce strengths, promoting existing initiatives to support supply chain development, and encouraging and incentivising supply chain collaboration.”