New Government urged to boost economic recovery through bold industrial investment

Posted: 12 May 2010 | A|D|S | No comments yet

Difficult decisions needed on cuts but strategic investment in export-driven, successful sectors also required for economic recovery…

Difficult decisions needed on cuts but strategic investment in export-driven, successful sectors also required for economic recovery.

A|D|S, the UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space trade organisation today (Wednesday) called on the new coalition Government to boost the economic recovery by focusing on bold investment decisions in British industrial sectors that are already in world-leading positions with large and high-growth potential export markets.

For example, the UK aerospace, defence and security sectors are global leaders that together employ over 500,000 people and generate over £60 billion per year to the UK economy. The UK has a 17 per cent share of the global aerospace market and a 21 per cent share of the global export market in defence. With the British economy needing an immediate boost the new Government can deliver this by committing to maintaining the current defence budget – given that it has fallen by half as a proportion of national wealth (GDP) over the last 20 years while other department budgets have risen – as well as continuing to support aerospace research and development. Sectors such as aerospace and defence provide many attractive opportunities for wise investment to deliver a larger slice of growing world markets.

However, in their manifesto the Liberal Democrats have made clear their opposition to Trident and reservations about the UK’s strong performance in defence exports. Furthermore, both the Liberal Democrats and some sections of the Conservative Party have been outspoken in their opposition to civil aviation during the election campaign despite its economic benefits, its relatively small impact on the environment and its publicly stated plans to reduce this impact.

Ian Godden, Chairman of A|D|S, said:

“The UK aerospace and defence industries are number one in Europe and second only to the US globally. They offer a strong route out of recession for the UK if our new Government is wise enough to seize the revenue opportunity. Any Government investment in these sectors will see a strong return in high-growth global markets, as has been demonstrated over the last two decades, and such investment will build on existing success rather than seeking to prop up ailing industries elsewhere in our economy.

“The new Government will focus on the economic problems facing the country as their first order of business. This is absolutely the right course of action. Any recovery, however, whether it be as country or a company, must work on both increasing revenue and reducing costs.

“The issues that also appear to be closest to the top of their priority list include the environment and defence – namely Afghanistan and the Strategic Defence Review. Our industries will be a key partner for the new Government in all of these activities.

“The defence industry already has 4,000 personnel in Afghanistan with our troops and every one of our 300,000 industry colleagues takes great pride in playing their full part in supporting our armed forces. The aerospace industry in Britain delivers ever-cleaner and quieter aircraft with which to facilitate global travel and trade. For example, an aircraft today is 70 per cent more fuel efficient, and produces 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than its equivalent from 50 years ago. It is also 75 per cent reduction quieter than its equivalent from 30 years ago. Now that the election campaign is over we hope that the UK aviation industry will be seen for what it is: a major contributor to the future green economy rather than an enemy of it, as it is often regrettably portrayed.

“In short, the Government and the country need strong industrial sectors with which to balance the economy and drive our recovery from recession. Aerospace, defence, security and space are just such high-tech, high-skilled sectors and we are ready to deliver for Britain in partnership with our new Government.”

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