“Wales can play its part in a renaissance of UK manufacturing”

Welsh manufacturing has the power to transform the prospects of the British economy and the lives of future generations, the Secretary of State for Wales said today as he addressed an audience of leading manufacturing companies in south Wales.

The annual Barclays and SPTS Technologies Ltd “Voice of Welsh Manufacturing” event brings business leaders from Wales’ manufacturing sector to discuss with Ministers the upcoming challenges and next steps for the sector as the UK Government continues to put manufacturing at the heart of its programme for a more prosperous future.

At today’s meeting at SPTS Technologies in Newport, Alun Cairns outlined how the UK Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy will help keep the UK at the forefront of crucial areas of comparative advantage, such as artificial intelligence and the automotive industry.

From compound semi-conductors in Cardiff, agri-tech in Aberystwyth, and life sciences in Wrexham, Wales is already embracing the opportunities provided by artificial intelligence and innovation to revolutionise many areas of manufacturing work.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “Building on Wales’ strengths, we want to work closely with businesses to support and grow the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, encourage innovation and promote exports.

“That is why we are working with business to put into practice a modern Industrial Strategy for modern British manufacturing.

“From encouraging cross-border growth following the abolition of the Severn Crossing tolls, to ensuring Welsh companies get their share of funding available, this meeting provided another perfect platform for us to further strengthen our relationship with the industry in Wales.

“More importantly, it enabled me to hear what its leaders have to say to ensure that we sustain a manufacturing sector that is not only investing and exporting, but is a confident and key player in building a more prosperous future for Wales.”

The Secretary of State also outlined how the Industrial Strategy isn’t the only area in which the government and manufacturers need to work in partnership.

He discussed the importance of protecting the interests of British manufacturing at a time where Britain is seeing a new relationship with the EU and seeking to protect the Welsh steel sector amid ongoing discussions with the USA over import tariffs.

He also underlined the importance of Welsh businesses maintain their access to markets across Europe, and beyond and of ensuring that the UK continues to attract the best and brightest talent from across the world.