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Government sets out business growth strategy

The government has launched a plan for boosting business growth in the UK.

The plan centres on several key areas of the economy.

These include supporting enterprise; fostering knowledge creation and its innovative application; helping develop workforce skills and capabilities; investing in the infrastructure to support a low carbon modern economy; and ensuring open and competitive markets.

Announcing the strategy, the Business Minister, Lord Mandelson said: “We must now match the bold and decisive action we have taken on the recession with a similarly radical approach to deliver renewed growth and opportunity.

“Growth is not only key to prosperity and jobs – but also to rebuilding the revenues for safeguarding the public services on which we all rely. The growth strategy shows how we will support and unleash the entrepreneurial, innovative and dynamic talents we know we have in Britain.”

Lord Mandelson added: “This plan is about a renewed politics of production. The genius of science and research. The dynamism of personal enterprise. The drive of a skilled and confident workforce. Access to finance on the right terms for long-term growth. A world class infrastructure. And strategic action from government to invest in all these things.

“These simple, powerful capabilities are the building blocks of our future growth. They stress the importance of recognizing that industrial competitiveness is not something that emerges out of the free market ether.”

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) welcomed the plan though with some reservations.

David Frost, the BCC’s director general, commented: “We now need to ensure that the initiatives announced today are supported by policies that stimulate enterprise, as any additional taxes on business will merely stunt growth.

“We are also encouraged by the understanding that we must put more emphasis on production. The UK has world class manufacturing companies, but we need more of them. It will no longer be the public sector and the consumer that drive the UK economy. It is now time for it to be rebalanced, with business, including high-tech and innovative manufacturers, playing a central role.”

The Institute of Directors (IoD) described the strategy as “exciting” and “vibrant”, but added that “real growth will need new manufacturing and technology enterprise to be achieved alongside areas where the UK already has a competitive advantage; particularly the much-maligned financial services sector”.