Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb today (October 9) hailed the role of small businesses in driving exports as a new survey revealed the majority are reporting buoyant order books.
Figures out today show three quarters of Welsh small and medium sized companies (SMEs) are reporting strong or growing sales overseas.
The Secretary of State spoke at a South Wales Chamber of Commerce business breakfast as the organisation published its All Wales Quarterly Economic Survey. Compiled along with the Mid Wales, West Cheshire and North Wales Chambers, the survey is a comprehensive snapshot of economic health across the region.
Mr Crabb said:
Our small businesses are helping to secure Wales’ economic future.
In a tough global marketplace, it is the ambitious companies with the confidence to be creative that are prospering.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our enterprise economy and the increase in orders reported today shows that they are in good shape.
However with fewer businesses reporting an improvement in export sales, we need to keep working hard to provide Welsh companies with the right conditions for growth and support them in overseas markets.
In 2014, SMEs in Wales accounted for 99.9 per cent of private sector businesses, three quarters of employment and more than half (59 per cent) of turnover.
A raft of major investment projects under way demonstrated the UK Government’s confidence in Welsh businesses, the Secretary of State told the gathering. They include:
- Investment in rail infrastructure – the most ambitious since the development of the rail network in the 19th century
- The roll-out of high speed broadband
- The offer of a City Deal for Cardiff
Mr Crabb said Wales had been narrowing the productivity gap with the rest of the UK since 2010. “We must build and continue on this path” he added.
You can see more about the Quarterly Economic Survey here