More than 50 of Wales’ top business leaders gathered tonight (1 December 2015) at Gwydyr House for a reception to mark the growing impact of Wales on the financial services industry.
Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb told guests that one year on from the UK investment summit in Newport, Wales was now showing the best inward investment figures for a quarter of a century.
The Welsh Secretary said:
We are committed to rebalancing growth by ensuring the benefits of an expanding economy are felt right across the UK.
I want to see the financial sector in Wales soaring ahead.
The Welsh Secretary said the financial and professional services sector in South Wales now supported 96,000 jobs.
He told the gathering the Government was improving rail connections to ensure that “the financial services sector at both ends of the M4” was connected as efficiently as possible.
We’re reducing journey times through the electrification of the Great Western mainline, and the introduction of Crossrail will bring the financial districts of Cardiff and Canary Wharf even closer together.
Quicker and more convenient to get to, these improvements will ensure Cardiff is front of mind when it comes to a location for financial services firms to invest in.
The new three-storey Crossrail station being built at Paddington will reduce cross-London journeys to under 20 minutes from 2018 and handle a predicted 25 million passengers a year.
The Gwydyr House reception follows last month’s launch of the South Wales Financial Centre of Excellence initiative
– backed by the Wales Office and the Treasury - at the headquarters of Admiral Group. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the government body that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy, will work closely with local government and industry to boost the financial sector in Wales.
Mr Crabb said the UK Government was also working with the Cardiff Capital Region on a “truly transformational” City Deal.
“I know Cardiff and South Wales businesses will grab these opportunities with both hands,” the Welsh Secretary added.