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Together we can work to lead a stronger, more confident economy.

First published:
5 August 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Addressing business leaders at 2 Anchor Company Forum meetings in Wrexham and Cardiff, Ken Skates discussed impact and opportunities arising from the EU referendum result, listened to concerns and proposed next steps. 

He said: 

“Both meetings were incredibly productive with constructive and positive talks around the EU Referendum outcome, the opportunities it presents for businesses in Wales and how the Welsh Government, business and academia can support them. It was also encouraging to see so much energy around the room and a real sense of rising to the occasion.

“These discussions also provided me with a great opportunity to meet with half of Wales’ Anchor companies. What I am hearing loud and clear is that whilst there are acknowledged challenges, there are also huge opportunities for a Team Wales approach enabling us to capitalise on some of the future prospects that a Britain out of the EU brings.

“My focus is on gathering people, organisations and social partners together to work collectively for the benefit of the whole of Wales. We may be a small country but that enables us to act very nimbly and together I firmly believe we can have a stronger and more secure economy, one with highly skilled jobs that benefit every community in Wales and I was very pleased to hear the commitment from our Anchor companies to support this objective over the coming weeks and months.”

Highlighting how the Welsh Government has already taken steps to help reassure companies that Wales is very much open for business, the Economy Secretary explained:

“Immediately following the EU referendum result the First Minister asked me to put together a Business Confidence Plan. I have done that and I have shared details of that with Anchor companies this week.

“Part of that plan encompasses a Growth and Prosperity Fund. We recognise that there is uncertainty and we recognise that there is a role for Government to show leadership and determination and that is exactly what we are doing. I am committed to supporting the Welsh economy with specific actions such as the growth fund as well as confident investment in key infrastructure and skills”

“In terms of supporting Small and Medium Businesses and start-ups, I am a huge fan of providing the right support and environments for entrepreneurs to succeed. In Wales we already have Business Wales and a number and variety of creative hub spaces and what I want to do is make sure there are more of them. That young entrepreneurs and innovators and creators have an area where they can come and work together in a shared space to develop their business ideas and grow their enterprises together.”

Lending support to the Cabinet Secretary’s vision of a strong Team Wales approach, BT Cymru Wales Regional Director, Alwen Williams, said: 

“This was a welcome opportunity for both business and the Welsh Government to come together and discuss the challenges and opportunities of Brexit.

“The Anchor Company Forum demonstrates how collaborative Wales can be and it’s already been shown this summer that as a country we’re together stronger. It’s now time for business and government to follow suit in order to make Wales an attractive proposition for investors. ”

Dr. Mark Picton, Commercial Operations Manager at RWE (Aberthaw Power Station) added: 

"In these times of uncertainty for business post Brexit, it was reassuring to hear the Cabinet Secretary reinforce that Wales is very much "open for business".

“It was also very encouraging that the Cabinet Secretary was keen to understand the challenges of our individual businesses. I feel confident I can meet these challenges with Welsh Government support.”