By Daniel Hunter

Speaking at the Growing Global fringe event at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, Simon Collins, Chairman of KPMG in the UK, stressed the importance of responsible business practice as a vital part of restoring trust in business, essential to delivering economic recovery.

“Something has become broken in the relationship between business and society. Yet business is a necessary engine of growth, the engine that will create jobs. Business must show its responsible side — not in any altruistic sense — but because we must get trust back," Collins said.

"There is undoubtedly an issue of confidence. Confidence on the part of society in business, and confidence within business itself about the fragility of the economic recovery. At the moment there is a sense that we need more regulation in place of trust. Yet regulation is itself stifling confidence and growth. I want to see CEOs pushing the throttle just half an inch to create jobs and create growth. Business needs to do that to demonstrate to society that job creation is across the board.

“The second thing is the importance of geography: In the UK, KPMG operates through 22 offices, and the message we hear is how businesses are frustrated by lack of consumer demand across the euro zone. But we won’t be taken out of recession by consumers in Europe. High growth markets are vital. We are seeing — and want to encourage — companies introduced to (what we call) “corridors” in High Growth Markets. We should exploit new areas of consumer demand and showcase the innovation and design for which Britain is famous across the globe, and collaborate with companies in HGMs.

“The third thing is the importance of Small and Medium Sized businesses as an engine for growth. There is increasing talk about the importance of developing a UK mittlestand; I see no conflict between large and small business. When it works it is about backing business. One example is how Jaguar Land Rover are creating a whole sub-region with the development of a supplier base around its core facilities.”

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