Business secretary Vince Cable said yesterday that the coalition government intends to shift the UK’s economic focus away from finance and towards industries such as the manufacture of high-technology products.
“We are now seeking to rebalance the economy, away from its over-dependence on banking back towards high-tech manufacturing and other sectors where British firms excel,” Cable said while on an official visit to India.
His comments follow a research study by US engineering giant GE, which found that companies in the UK’s high-tech manufacturing sector feel optimistic about the future and that they outperformed other industries in the past year. Nearly half of the surveyed companies (44%) said they expected to expand their staffing in the next twelve months.
One limiting factor, respondents said, was the availability of investment capital. More than a third of those respondents in the market for investment reported that conditions were “unacceptably strict” or that investment is “impossible to obtain”, compared with just 13% who felt it was “readily available”.
Speaking to the Confederation of Indian Industry yesterday, Vince Cable said rebalancing the UK’s economy towards high tech manufacturing would require foreign investment. “We must build far deeper ties with new centres of global growth,” he said, including India.