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Economy Secretary, Ken Skates has pledged that post- referendum, Wales will remain a great place to do business.

First published:
30 June 2016
Last updated:

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

Speaking ahead of his key note address at the Institute of Welsh Affairs – Doing Business in Wales event, the Economy Secretary emphasised Wales will continue to be an open, responsive and business friendly country. 

He stressed his priority now was to maintain economic confidence and stability and protect jobs. 

Ken Skates said: 

“Wales’ economy has developed hugely over recent years and now boasts a strong international reputation as a place to come and invest.

“Already this year announcements from Aston Martin, MotoNovo, TVR, Essentra, EE and BT have demonstrated our growing reputation as a magnetic country to locate to and trade from. 

“This is partly down to our open, responsive and business-friendly approach. We remain committed to this, to  developing Welsh business and to working with new partners to draw in investment.

“Post referendum my priority  is protecting jobs and doing everything in my power to maintain economic confidence and stability.”

The Economy Secretary said the Welsh Government would build on Wales’ excellent relationships with Welsh businesses and inward investors, and play a  full part in discussions about the timing and terms of withdrawal from the EU. 

He stressed Welsh Government would be  negotiating to retain access to the 500 million customers in the EU Single Market,  and to continued participation in major EU programmes to 2020 while arrangements are made for the longer term.

Tomorrow,  the Economy Secretary will set out a number of short term measures to provide assurance and stability to the business community.

These include a pro-active expansion plan to support Welsh exports, looking anew at campaigns in Wales’ overseas markets to promote inward investment,  and working to develop new Competitiveness Plans to ensure a cross Government focus on boosting  national competitiveness. 

Ken Skates added: 

“This week I have spoken with the CBI, FSB, the Wales TUC and some of our biggest employers about how we can work together to further boost economic confidence.

“Longer-term, we will be working  on a new Economic Strategy for Wales that builds on the strengths we have developed in recent years and prepares us for the challenges of the future.

“We are in a strong position. Welsh Government supported over 40,000 jobs in 2015/16, an increase of 5.3 per cent on the previous year and nearly 150,000 jobs in the last Assembly. And our increasing employment rate is outperforming all other parts of the UK.

“Nobody can dismiss the strong message contained within last week’s vote. It went beyond frustration with Brussels and exposed deeper dissatisfaction with structural inequalities in our economy.  

“It is important that our new economic strategy reflects the changing landscape  and focuses on  added value for individuals and communities just as much as for businesses.

“We will work now  to deliver quality jobs, closer to home in tandem with a strong business environment for Wales through a new Development Bank and a new National Infrastructure Commission.

“Despite current difficulties, I am determined to build the confident, bright, prosperous and dynamic economy  we all want and deserve.”