In a speech to business leaders in Hong Kong, ahead of the G20 Finance ministers meeting this weekend in Australia, which will be discussing global risks, the Chancellor pointed out that the economic recovery is not yet secure. He assured that those risks can be “tackled head on” by each country putting their “own houses in order”.
On working with the G20, he said:
Together we need to act now to ensure that emerging market problems don’t contribute to a new crisis.
How do we do that?
By each one of us putting our own houses in order.
And by using the G20 to check we have all confronted our problems instead of running away from them.
On the necessary reforms that the UK needs to undertake to secure the recovery, he said:
So I’m now the first to say that the recovery is not yet secure and our economy is still too unbalanced. We cannot rely on consumers alone for our economic growth, as we did in previous decades.
And we cannot put all our chips on the success of the City of London.
Britain is not investing enough. Britain is not exporting enough.
Both business investment and exports are forecast to grow. But we can’t be passive observers of the forecasts. We need to roll up our sleeves, get to work and make it happen.
Drawing on the Budget he will deliver, in four weeks time, the Chancellor said:
“I want to deliver a Budget that supports a Britain that invests and that exports.
“A Budget that lays the foundations for our long term economic security.
“And a Budget which ensures that around the world, wherever you are, you can’t help but see “Made in Britain”. That’s the budget I’m going to deliver.”
The Chancellor praised the UK’s “special bilateral relationship” with Hong Kong, and the two countries’ historic and legal ties. He also highlighted the importance of Hong Kong as a significant trading partner for the UK and a destination in its own right.
You are the UK’s second largest market for goods in the Asia-Pacific.
You are the source of just under 30% of the profits of two of the UK’s largest banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered.
More investment comes to the UK from Hong Kong than from the USA, Canada and Singapore combined
The Chancellor will leave Hong Kong tomorrow for the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Sydney, Australia from 21-23 February.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Lance on Flickr, used under Creative Commons.