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Seize the Moment: An Economic Strategy to Transform the UK Economy

Today marks the launch of the CBI’s economic strategy for the UK – Seize the Moment.

It’s the culmination of months of research and hundreds of conversations with CBI members, trade associations, senior figures in government and others. These discussions have helped us, collectively, define, and refine, this shared vision.

The challenge ahead of us is great. COVID-19, our new relationship with the EU, the ever-quickening speed of technological progress and the climate imperative are testing and transforming lives and businesses. Which is why this bold and ambitious strategy is needed.

Today is just the beginning of our journey in tackling these challenges and seizing the opportunities before us. The CBI’s new Seize the Moment report sets out the size of the prizes that are on offer. Together, these prizes total around £700bn worth of opportunities by 2030. Seizing just some of them will make a material difference to lives and livelihoods in all parts of the UK.

To build on this work, today we also launch a dedicated website, helping you understand what this means for your business, your sector and society more broadly.

In return, I’m asking for your help. I’m asking you to join this collective campaign to seize the opportunities before us. There’s not a moment to lose – sign up to join today.

Seizing the moment

We have a shared role to play in the UK’s future economy – it’s for us to make the bold changes. We can’t do this alone though. We need all governments – local, devolved and national – across the UK to support us. That’s why we’ll engage with political stakeholders across all four nations to build a shared agenda for economic transformation in the decade ahead.

These proposals are a starting foundation. If we get them right, we can complement various plans and strategies governments already have in place to build back better.

Our report, shaped by you, describes how we can be a global leader in decarbonisation and technology, how business can be truly diverse and inclusive, and what the UK’s place in the world could be.

Following today’s launch, we’ll continue to speak to you, our members, to develop our vision and start catalysing action on the ground – please do share any thoughts via our dedicated inbox seizethemoment@cbi.org.uk , aimed to support you and gather invaluable insight.

Equipping the UK to win on the world stage

To turn ambition into reality, we’ll need to leverage the UK’s international networks – something we’re already doing, as hosts of the recent B7 Summit.

Together with government, we were able to showcase the UK as a leader on the world stage.

Following my opening of the CEO Summit and three days of policy-focused sessions, the B7 agreed a joint communique with policy recommendations from international business, spanning international travel, trade, digital and climate. To top off a fantastic week, we also heard from the Prime Minister.

I am really proud the business voice was heard loud and clear ahead of the G7 summit in June – thank you to all those involved.

Setting strong foundations

Of course, all of this will be shaped by what happens next in the UK’s recovery from COVID-19.

Last week, we saw the easing of restrictions across Britain, with Northern Ireland set to follow suit today. While welcome, I know uncertainties exist on the future of social distancing, the role of COVID-status certificates, workplace testing and international travel. For some, the decisions taken in the coming weeks will be mission critical.

Rest assured, the CBI is engaging with all governments across the UK, calling for clarity, consistency of rules across different settings and nations, and greater message discipline from government to boost confidence. For all the latest insight, please visit our Coronavirus Hub.

I know many of you are still grappling with the effects of the pandemic, and the CBI is here to support you every step of the way. While I don’t underestimate the continuing challenges we face together, I do believe this is an exciting time for UK business, and there are many reasons to be optimistic.