Manufacturing in the UK represents the best and most profitable opportunity for growth in the economy, according to a speaker at a meeting of finance professionals.
BibbyFinancial Services’ Fit for the Future conference on October 31 heard that the reversal of outsourcing is driving a return to manufacturing in the UK. And as emerging markets continue to provide new opportunities, small and medium sized businesses in the UK can drive a macro economic recovery through exports.
Dennis Turner, former HSBC chief economist, said: ‘We need to focus on one truly international sector – manufacturing.
‘Manufacturing is the key to sustainable growth for the next 25 years, not just the next five but most people think that we packaged it up and sent it to China decades ago.
‘We’re witnessing the end of large-scale outsourcing – the dominant trend for the next two decades will be insourcing back to the UK, which will act as a catalyst for a tangible manufacturing recovery.
‘British manufacturing output peaked in 2006 – it has been growing but not as quickly as everything else. It’s decline has been relative against higher growth service sectors.
‘At the same time, growth has previously been based on domestic sectors and was not sustainable – whereas increasing exports and taking those opportunities abroad will generate much more significant growth.
‘We have so much going for us in this country as seen in sectors such as manufacturing, and it really is time to ditch our national pastime of talking down the economy.’
David Postings, UK chief executive of Bibby Financial Services, said: ‘Our manufacturing clients have consistently performed well over the past 18 months and we expect further growth this sector – particularly where alternative finance solutions are providing the support they need.
‘Businesses coming out of recession can be as vulnerable as those going into one, which is why we are challenging businesses today and asking if they are fit for the future to take on the challenges of recovery’, he added.