Graham Morgan, South Wales Chamber of Commerce director tells Channel 4 News that exports are the answer – but it will take a lot to offset public sector cuts in the region.
Gross weekly pay – £454.40 / £500 UK average JSA claimants – 5.7 per cent / 4.1 per cent UK average Vacancies per 10,000 – 87 / 72 UK average JSA claimants per unfilled vacancy – 6.3 / 5.7 UK average
Graham Morgan, South Wales Chamber of Commerce director: The picture that has been established here is that exports are the key market to concentrate on in South Wales.
The domestic market remains weak with only 28 per cent of businesses reporting improved domestic sales in the last three months according to our Quarterly Economic Survey. Exporting businesses on the other hand, particularly manufacturers seem to be outperforming the rest of the UK, with a 13 per cent sales increase according to our figures.
Export led business
Official statistics for Wales also showed a 13.8 per cent increase in export value during 2011, with the value of Welsh exports more than doubling since 1999. It is clear that the best way to improve the fortunes of Welsh businesses is to promote an export led business culture.
The export figures are welcome as the unemployment rate at 9.1 per cent continues to lag behind the rest of the UK and most other economic indicators placing Wales as the worst performing region of the UK.
However we also see a great deal of regional disparity across Wales. Cardiff performs strongly, with a GVA well above the UK average at 108 per cent and buoyed by last years announcement of the electrification of the line to London.
Swansea and Newport face greater challenges, with a recent Centre for Cities report placing them as most susceptible to public sector cuts based on their dependence on public sector worker.
However with sporting events such as the Ryder Cup and Swansea FC being promoted to the Premier League placing each city in the global marketplace we hope to see both taking big strides forward.