IPPR warns on UK exports

Efforts to use exports to drive forward economic recovery are failing and the UK is in danger of losing out in markets essential for future growth, according to a new report.

The report, published by think-tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), said fewer than 7 per cent of UK exports are going to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. It found that only 2.9 per cent of exports goes to China.

In contrast, the Surviving the Asian Century report points out how Germany is seizing on new Chinese markets. Last year, its exports to China totalled £47bn, up 44 per cent on the previous year and far outpacing the overall 18.5 per cent increase in German exports.

Tony Dolphin, the IPPR's associate director, said: "Economic success means looking to what needs to be achieved over the next few decades not the next few years. The UK economy has serious structural challenges that require an active industrial policy to tackle them. Only then will the UK survive the Asian century.

"For example, Britain needs a state investment bank, like they have in Germany and Scandinavian countries, or even a major state-led investment fund, like in France.

"Other policies that should be considered are an expansion of the export credit guarantee scheme, greater efforts to identify and provide companies with the skills that will be needed to compete and a change to enterprise zones policy to strategically focus on innovation."

Information from Business Insider - 23rd August 2011