With unemployment rising and business confidence falling, Wales’ economy is still struggling to pull out of the downturn.
122,000 people here are now jobless and our unemployment rate is above the rest of the UK.
In fact Welsh firms are more likely to fire than hire according to the Institute of Directors in Wales.
The IOD’s Robert Lloyd Griffiths said the Welsh Government must reverse the economic decline by modernising Wales‘s transport links, skilling up the workforce and putting the private sector at the centre of economic renewal.
Disappointing is how the Business Minister Edwina Hart described today’s unemployment figures. She said the Welsh Government is reviewing the best way to support businesses to protect existing jobs, and where possible create new ones.
The county, bang on the border with England will be surrounded by Enterprise Zones which are already in the pipeline for near neighbours Warrington and the Wirral.
Flintshire businesses fear when the competition is up and running inward investment could stop at the border. What’s more, companies already set up in the county could pull out for better terms and incentives elsewhere.
Askar Sheibani CEO of Comtek in Deeside says Wales is lagging behind and Enterprise Zones are not just about money, but a key selling point to potential investors.
Meanwhile the Federation of Small Business in Wales says we must learn from the mistakes of the 80s and adopt a new model. It favours Enterprise Zones not just based on geography but also on the Welsh Government’s key industries Sector approach.
The Minister meanwhile doesn’t believe Enterprise Zones will solve all of Wales’ economic woes and with just 10 million pounds of UK government money earmarked over the next five years that’s unlikely to make a significant impact.