Kenneth Sundh, UK country director of Swedish group Sandvik and managing director of cutting tool supplier Sandvik Coromant.
How is the UK market doing?
Demand has been down but not everywhere. Aerospace has been very buoyant and electronics is growing. Automotive, though, has been hit hard, and the outlook is uncertain. Most of it in the UK is now owned by non-UK companies and these will inevitably put manufacturing where it is most efficient to do so – and this does not always mean the UK.
What is your view on interest rate policy?
Manufacturing accounts for only 20% of GNP in this country, and so some decisions are not going to be in the interests of the manufacturing sector. I think we have to accept that.
You mean UK manufacturers should stop whinging?
Yes. The euro offers an opportunity for the UK. We all thought that the pound would fall at the start of the year. It has not. The sooner Britain gets into the euro and this kind of currency uncertainty is evened out, the better for us all.