Business leaders have discussed the Nato Summit, women in the workforce and the Autumn Statement with the Secretary of State for Wales.
David Jones MP heard ideas from businesses - including senior executives from Celtic Manor where the Nato Summit will take place - on how best to promote Wales as a destination of choice for investors at a meeting of the Wales Office Business Advisory Group at GE Aviation in Nantgarw.
Their views will be fed into a wider business offer and plans to hold a Wales Office Investment Summit in November to promote Wales as host of the largest international delegation to the United Kingdom in history.
Secretary of State for Wales David Jones said:
As one of the biggest aerospace and defence employers in Wales and a key investor in the economy and the Welsh workforce, it is fitting that we hosted this meeting at GE Aviation.
The NATO summit will provide Wales with an unprecedented opportunity for Welsh businesses to showcase the very best they have to offer to a global audience of billions. I want to capitalise on this opportunity beyond the summit to ensure Wales has a lasting economic benefit by hosting an international trade conference in Wales.
I was eager to gather the views of Welsh business leaders as to how best to present our strengths as an inward investment destination and maximise the opportunities for our world-class exporters.
It is vital that we present a cohesive offer from business and demonstrate a modern picture of the Welsh economy that is ready and able to meet the needs of the international business community.
Mr Jones was joined at the meeting by Wales Office Minister Baroness Randerson who led a discussion on the government’s agenda to promote women in business.
Women now make up 48% of the workforce in Wales and in May this year it was announced that every FTSE 100 company now has a woman on its board.
During the meeting, Baroness Randerson highlighted the important roles that both government and business have to play in encouraging women and young girls to have the confidence to aim high and to reach their full potential in the workplace.
Baroness Randerson said:
This government’s aim to create a fairer and more equal society is helping drive forward the cultural change needed to ensure women can maximise their workplace opportunities for future economic growth.
While it is clear that these opportunities are increasing in Wales, the challenge we face is to ensure that more women capitalise upon them.
I am determined to do my part in this effort and hope to see more businesses in Wales creating female-friendly policies that make the most of the considerable skills and talents that women have to offer.
During the meeting, the Secretary of State also took the opportunity to gather members views on the policy proposals they would like to see included in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement later this year to stimulate economic growth.
The Secretary of State will now share the proposals with the Chancellor for consideration.
- The Wales Office Business Advisory Group was set up in 2010 to examine the business environment in Wales and to listen to the views of Welsh business leaders.