June 24, 2014

The Global Economy: Prospects for growth and assessing the UK’s position

This Paper is a write-up of research and issues arising from a Market Consultation and a series of roundtables taking place under the Chatham House rule. It does not necessarily reflect the views of participants in these proceedings or the views of Policy Exchange. We have asked a number of these people to contribute essays to this report. The views of these authors are varied and wide-ranging. As such, Policy Exchange would not endorse all of the policies that are put forward. However, it is the spirit of debate that is important.

We conducted a Market Consultation exercise to support our research, and identified three key areas of interest. These topics were discussed in a series of roundtable events with leading academics, senior leaders in global and domestic UK firms, policymakers, trade associations, representatives of sovereign wealth funds and other stakeholders to explore the future prospects of the global economy. In addition, several essays on the subject of global growth were solicited from prominent voices in the worlds of finance, industry, and politics, which are published in this report.

The three subjects and underlying questions discussed at the roundtables were:

The developed world and rising economics: a stock take

  • What are the global trends in innovation, growth and consumption that are likely to shape the world economy in years to come?
  • As emerging economies develop, how might rising labour costs and exchange rates impact on business activity?
  • Where do developed economies stand today and how is this likely to change?
  • What can be learnt from the history of economic development in advanced economies?
  • How can developed economies and the UK best adapt to these emerging trends?

Making the most of growing economies: accessing and building new markets

  • What barriers are there for global businesses to enter emerging markets?
  • What changes to government policy might best facilitate the growth of goods and services exports in new markets? Trade, regulatory policy, trade missions – or something else?
  • How can firms build on existing markets and take advantage of their growth?
  • What role do issues with the protection of intellectual property and corruption play?
  • Do developed economies such as the UK have comparative advantages in emerging economies with historic connections (English as the language of business, legal practices, for example) and how can this best be capitalised on?

Fostering inward investment: competing in the new global economy

  • How can developed economies ensure they are well placed to attract more inward investment from emerging economies?
  • Are there opportunities to ‘re-shore’ parts of businesses that have moved abroad in recent years? What policies are needed to encourage this?
  • What new policies are needed to ensure ‘foot loose’ global companies continue to see the UK as a good place to locate?
  • What role might clusters and innovation hubs play? How can developed countries make the best use of their research excellence?


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