Increasing trade between Wales and the rest of the world will top the agenda at the latest meeting of the Secretary of State for Wales’ Business Advisory Group later today [5 July].
Nick Baird, the chief executive of UKTI - the Government’s trade and investment organisation - will present the group with an overview of current activity and facilitate a discussion on how Wales can improve its reach as an international brand in order to attract potential inward investors.
Previous speakers at the group include Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable, Universities Minister David Willets and Employment Minister Chris Grayling.
Today’s meeting will see representatives from General Dynamics, Dragon LNG, Toyota, Smart Solutions, Llandudno Hospitality Association and Afonwen Laundry gather for discussions around the table at the Wales Office’s Whitehall headquarters.
During the meeting, the Secretary of State will underline her commitment to creating the right conditions to encourage more growth and investment in Wales. She will also reaffirm her support for driving forward the case for key infrastructure projects in Wales, including electrification of the rail lines from Cardiff to Swansea and into the Valleys which could be a vital component for delivering a successful Welsh economy.
Mrs Gillan said: “There is no better way to take the temperature of business conditions in Wales than to meet face to face with the business owners and industry experts themselves and offer fresh insight into the work being done elsewhere in Government to support businesses.
“With Mr. Baird joining us today, we will have the opportunity to look more closely at the impact and reach of the Welsh brand to overseas markets as well as its success closer to home.
“It is vital we do all we can to encourage more exposure and impact for Welsh business and the Government is keen to demonstrate that it is fully committed to a modern, dynamic and better connected Wales. Further investment into the electrification of the Swansea and Valley Lines would in no doubt provide us with the opportunities to do so.
“We have been working hard with the Department for Transport and the Welsh Government to create a robust business case for this part of the electrification of our rail network, and I have been making strong representations over a long period on the need to deliver modern and efficient transport links.
“I welcome recent encouraging news on exports from Wales but want to help improve the landscape and conditions for Welsh businesses and organisations in any way I can, including working with the Welsh Government to achieve this. I am delighted to have another opportunity to listen to the views of our Business Advisory Group members today.”