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Thursday, 16 November, 2023

Sunak to lead major business event

Sunak to lead major business event

The Prime Minister is to kick off a conference that will look to increase opportunities for the private sector to boost economic growth.

The Business Connect event on Monday will gather industry leaders and investors together with Government ministers for “direct and detailed discussions”, according to Downing Street.

No 10 said the London gathering of 200 of the UK’s highest-profile chief executives was about recognising that the UK Government cannot achieve its economic priorities alone.

The so-called growth sectors expected to be represented at the conference include technology, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

Rishi Sunak said: “I am working every day on our five priorities – to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats.

“Business Connect provides the next fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how we are growing the economy.

“We are bringing together some of the UK’s biggest companies and investors for meaningful dialogue – and I’m a Prime Minister passionate about working with business to unlock opportunity and progress.

“Since taking office, I’ve spoken to over 1,000 business people — because they are the innovators and change-makers at the heart of our economy, supporting jobs, attracting investment and driving growth.

“The UK can be proud of its business credentials. Through the creation of 162 tech unicorns, smarter regulation and world-leading universities, we’ve got the right ingredients to double down on growing the economy.”

Hosting his first LinkedIn Live event on Monday, the Prime Minister will take a variety of questions from entrepreneurs, those fronting small and medium-sized enterprises, innovators and young people.

As part of building on his plans to create a more innovative economy, No 10 said the Prime Minister would be unveiling a new Innovation category at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards on Monday evening.

The newly minted prize at the awards, which are being hosted by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, will recognise bright, innovative ideas that deliver new products and services which can drive the UK economy, Downing Street said.

Earlier this year, Mr Sunak created the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology during a shake-up of Whitehall.

Mr Hunt said: “It’s absolutely vital that we’re listening to – and working with – industry leaders, innovators and disruptors as we deliver on our priority to grow the economy.”

The leaders of alcohol wholesaler Diageo, Barclays bank and retailer Currys welcomed the Business Connect initiative.

No 10 said the conference comes following the creation of 11,000 jobs as a result of inward investment since October.

But Labour accused the Tories of economic mismanagement, arguing that a lack of a UK Government industrial strategy meant there had been a failure to support businesses through soaring inflation.

It pointed to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) April forecasts suggesting that the UK would see average inflation of 7% in 2023 and 3% in 2024, meaning continued rising prices for consumers.

According to party analysis, the forecast 10% rise over two years in Britain would be higher than the IMF’s Group of Seven (G7) average of 7%.

Party officials say inflation will end up costing households nearly £1,500 per year given the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded the weekly average household spend as being £482 in 2020.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Pat McFadden said: “After 13 years, the pattern of Tory economic failure is grinding on.

“Families in Britain are being harder hit by price rises than many comparable economies.

“Other countries have had to cope with Covid and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, yet it is Tory Britain which sits at the top of the inflation growth league of major industrial economies.”

Earlier this month, IMF economists stated that they expected the UK economy to grow slower than other developed G7 nations, with a contraction of 0.3% this year before rebounding to grow by 1% next year.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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