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BCC: Achieve growth with pro-business policies
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The government has the opportunity to secure the UK's long-term place on the world trading stage if it is prepared to support private sector growth, it has been claimed.
According to John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the UK need not suffer a similar fate to the eurozone, as the protracted economic downturn continues.
He said we are living in "momentous times" with slow but seismic shifts in the world economy, and the choices made now will affect Britain for many years to come.
Mr Longworth said that with changes afoot around the globe, including the emergence of China, India and Brazil as major economies, the UK simply cannot afford to compromise on economic performance.
"If we fall behind, the future could be very different for our children and grandchildren," he suggested.
The BCC chief said Britain does have the potential to recover and make its way in the world, in terms of the talent, energy and enterprise, but it also needs an environment that puts business first.
Boosting growth in our businesses will help improve the economy and let Britain lead on the international stage, he added.
Mr Longworth said that in the face of economic concerns, and the debt crisis in Europe, businesses across Britain are "busting a gut" to find new markets and grow their firms.
"We all have to recognise that business is a force for good," he stated.
"It is at the centre of the economy, and it is only business that can create recovery and deliver all the good things we want, like education, healthcare and pensions."
As such, the Con-Lib coalition needs to combat the threat of stagnation within the existing spending envelope, Mr Longworth argued.
"Business is the foundation of local communities, creating the wealth that helps them thrive, providing hard working people with purpose and self-respect, and employment and training for those that want to learn," he stated.
As such, the UK needs an enterprise culture where people are encouraged into self-employment, allowing them to be a future source of jobs.
Mr Longworth said the government can restore UK business confidence by facilitating the flow of credit to viable businesses, improving the UK planning system, and by overhauling the infrastructure and skills system.
“Business is not just good for Britain, but is essential. 2012 could provide the tipping point for our economy," Mr Longworth said. "It provides an opportunity for lasting change."
Posted by Jon Aspinell
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