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In a year where the world has been thrown upside down and countries have had to look more inwards, it has been made clear that we all rely too heavy on others to supply and feed our country. I am of course talking about the UK manufacturing industry which at its peak used to supply the world with 40% of the worlds manufacturing output.

Today the manufacturing industry is worth 6.7 trillion to the global economy, and 44% of UK exports contribute to this employing 2.6 million people. All of this generates and impressive 10% to the economy output of the UK. Now this all sounds impressive and you may be asking what I’m making a fuss about. Well times are changing, more and more we see manufacturing being moved abroad to Asia and the Middle East, last year alone China exported 2.5 trillion worth of goods, over a third of the global contribution. My fear is a monopoly is occurring and a reliance on a country on the other side of the world is becoming greater and greater.

I see why these changes have occurred, labour and materials are cheaper and more readily available, from a business point of view the change makes perfect sense. I would say it is the USP of the country when it comes to manufacturing and I look to the UK; the once powerhouse in this industry, to find what is our USP is in this changing world?

Well, I’m glad to say there is hope for us yet, while we may not be the mass producing country we used to be producing everyday products for the masses, we have risen to become a big player in the high-value sector. Areas such as aerospace and pharmaceutical with companies such as BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, and AstraZeneca being proof of this. We have once again made ourselves invaluable as a global trader ensuring we still have a seat on the global manufacturing stage.

We can’t stop here though, with the world continuing to develop and more and more manufacturing becoming autonomous we must continue to innovate and develop to improve our process and systems. Now is the time to invest and generate job opportunities, there will be a greater demand for these high-value goods as the world continues to develop and progress and we want to be at the head of this manufacture. We may have lost our edge but I am pleased to see an innovative and new approach to manufacturer rising to help see us into this fast-changing modern world.

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Patrick Williams avatar

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