By Claire West
Businesses throughout the UK consider themselves to be on a competitive level with the rest of the world, according to new research by Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank.
A survey conducted on behalf of the bank by YouGov shows that of businesses surveyed, almost a third (32%) strongly believe globalisation has offered them greater opportunities.
With the removal of global barriers respondents thought that globalisation had made the UK a more attractive place for foreign investment. Businesses in London, Scotland and Wales were the most positive about the opportunities globalisation can bring. These regions have much of the financial, telecommunications and research based sectors — industries which greatly benefit within a global market.
The Midlands and the North of England, which have recently seen a number of manufacturing and industrial companies pack their bags and migrate to cheaper foreign soils do not share this optimism.
Commenting on the findings, Mike Williams, of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, said: “In order for the British economy to match the economic growth of nations like China and India, we have to embrace firms from abroad and integrate them into the economy. The growth industries in modern Britain are no longer manufacturing or agriculture led and as a result the areas of the UK which relied on them may have suffered from globalisation. But with the right investment and business opportunities these areas can certainly benefit from the openness of the global market. Money is being pumped into new industries which attract new investment. Life sciences, software and computer services investment are all increasing and over time all regions throughout the UK are going to benefit and will allow the UK to remain a competitor in the global market.”
The UK is an ideal place for foreign investment and thanks to its vibrant business culture, political and economic stability and world class universities has seen the number of inward investments increase by 17% in 2006/07. The new investment in the UK has created over 36,000 jobs, with an additional 41,000 jobs safeguarded. Where these jobs are going is unspecific but with appropriate investment by every Regional Development Agency the whole of the UK can benefit.