UK chemicals and pharmaceutical industry at risk - CIA

19 November 2009 00:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The UK runs the risk of losing out to its international competitors if the government does not tackle fundamental issues such as regulation, energy and credit availability, the chief executive of the UK's Chemical Industries Association (CIA) said on Thursday.

“Chemical and pharmaceutical businesses supply the rest of manufacturing with their raw [materials] and our innovations are leading the way in the transition to a low carbon economy," said the CIA's Steve Elliott.

"I want to make sure we can maintain and enhance that position.

"With 70% of our businesses foreign headquartered and able to invest anywhere in the world, action now is critical for the UK to compete for investment," he added on the day of the assocation's annual dinner.

"I am concerned that if we do not tackle fundamental issues such as regulation, energy and credit, we will lose out to our competitor countries during the recovery,” he said.

In a CIA survey of business investment attitudes, 68% of British chemical and pharmaceutical business leaders said they had felt overburdensome regulation in the UK would act as a barrier to further investment.

Furthermore, the survey had shown that 53% of those questioned said energy security and price would act as a key barrier, while 37% cited the problem of credit availability.

Elliott said the CIA would, on Thursday, launch a blueprint to revitalise manufacturing in the UK. Britain's business secretary, Lord Mandelson, is scheduled to attend the dinner.

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