The chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, which operates the city’s inward investment programme Business Birmingham, has called for the Chancellor to keep the UK competitive for investors in this week’s Budget.
Investment into the UK’s talent pool, measures to attract top performers and the international promotion of the country’s new Enterprise Zones should all feature in the Chancellor’s plans, according to Neil Rami.
He said: “Talent is the lifeblood of our economy and a key part of the UK’s proposition to investors. However, as our international competitors sharpen their offer, we must invest and improve. More must be done to facilitate employer collaboration with our higher education sector – from employer-led syllabuses to placements, our students must be work-ready on graduation.”
In addition to training home-grown talent, attracting top performers from overseas demonstrates the Government’s focus on helping international organisations to locate functions in the UK. Furthermore, highlighting the UK’s high standards of living – with Birmingham ranked as its most attractive regional city for quality of life by Mercer – provides a strong differentiator to other global locations.
“Moves to cut net immigration by placing caps on skilled workers’ and student visas, and limiting intra-company transfers, may deter multi-national organisations seeking a business-friendly environment that supports their growth,” he continued. “Welcoming international students and workers, most of whom return to their native countries ready to do business with their UK contacts, positions the UK as a confident business centre to the next generation of business leaders.”
UK Trade & Investment recently devolved responsibility for investor enquiries for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area to Business Birmingham. Providing tailored support from specific locations across regional economies further enhances the UK’s investor development strategy.
Rami added: “A joined-up approach to marketing to investors is a prerequisite for success. Government must support the international marketing of Enterprise Zones, which differentiate us from our competitors; investors need to understand the potential they hold for their business.”