Welcome to the Wales Annual Lunch!
This time last year we hoped 2019 would see Brexit under control and shovels in the ground along the M4. Thank goodness for the Welsh Rugby team! But while politics has not delivered, the Welsh economy has been performing well. Thanks to the hard work of everyone in the private sector, employment managed to hit the highest levels since records began in 1992. Welsh imports are at their lowest in four years and GVA has increased. Against this backdrop, we must not forget the urgent need to respond to global climate change. I was delighted the CBI was able to jointly launch the Committee on Climate Change’s report which outlined how Wales should reach Net Zero emissions by 2050. Sometimes, business is perceived as the obstacle to this action. But many businesses are leading from the front. From colossal offshore wind turbines to electric vehicle batteries, they are the ones innovating the world away from fossil fuels by delivering the technology needed to cut carbon emissions. Indeed, without the private sector creating new technologies, there is no way we can stop global warming. As the world’s first industrial nation, Wales has an opportunity to lead again.
We have an exciting lunch today, kindly sponsored by Qatar Airways and Keolis, as well as our drinks reception sponsored by Radnor Hills. We will hear from CBI President, John Allan and the Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, Debbie Willcox. I am sure you will have an enjoyable lunch and I hope I get a chance to speak to you individually this afternoon.
Ian Price Director – CBI Wales
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