By Wayne Harvey, Senior Partner for Deloitte in Wales
In advance of the CBI Wales annual dinner on 6 December 2018, Wayne Harvey, senior partner for Deloitte in Wales, looks at Wales' productivity challenge and what Welsh businesses can do to drive the Welsh economy forwards.
Recently Deloitte issued its latest report in the Power Up series, focused on UK productivity. Over the last few months I've met with leaders of Welsh businesses to find out their thoughts on the topic. We discussed numerous themes such as skills and re-skilling our workforces, collaboration between businesses, SMEs and start-ups as well as educational institutions, building on proven areas of strength across Wales, improving transport links, investment in technology and scaling up operations.
In a number of industry sectors, productivity growth in Wales has outperformed UK averages since 1997 – providing optimism that the productivity challenge can be addressed. But this growth needs to be across the board if we are to drive Wales towards a fast-paced economic future.
It’s been said that the abolition of tolls on the two Severn River crossings will provide more than £1bn of economic benefit for Wales over the next decade. But as the UK works its way towards Brexit, Wales faces a number of different challenges. What will determine Wales’s future outside of the EU? Of course they’ll be the Welsh Government’s guidance and policies but in my view it also will be heavily influenced by Welsh businesses’ ability to improve productivity, maintain employment growth and continue to improve GDP.
I believe Wales has an opportunity to use its comparatively small size coupled with its newly acquired abilities to borrow, tax and implement policies to forge a dynamic, efficient economy. As business leaders in Wales, the time has come to embrace technology, flexibility and to collaborate as this will ultimately determine how successful the economic transition becomes.
Let’s all power up Wales.
Power Up: UK-wide growth report
This latest Deloitte report in the Power Up series suggests that unlocking untapped potential across all regions and nations could be the key to solving the UK’s productivity puzzle. Find out more here.