By Claire West

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech on economic growth this morning, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s dedication to a ‘forensic, relentless focus on growth’ and enterprise. His speech today offered a strong narrative in favour of growth. However, the Government has not yet articulated a full growth strategy. Businesses want to know exactly how Government will prioritise resources, remove barriers, and incentivise private-sector growth. In the coming weeks, further action will be required for a rebalanced UK economy to emerge.

“Our member businesses say they need to see more action to support exporters — beginning with real help on trade credit insurance and trade finance, which are still stopping thousands of businesses from selling goods and services overseas.

“Businesses are also counting on action to reduce the burdens created by employment regulation, which is preventing many small- and medium-sized companies from taking on staff as the economy recovers. And without action to reform the UK’s sclerotic planning system, the billions of pounds of private sector investment needed to improve Britain’s infrastructure will not materialise.

“The BCC also calls on the Government to create further incentives for those parts of the UK where the private sector is especially weak. We believe that a new generation of “Opportunity Zones” — with ultra-low regulation and tax incentives — should be created to encourage inward investment and the growth of existing companies.”