IoD Weekly Policy Report 26 - 30 June 2023

It’s been celebrations, summits and schemes this week. To end the second quarter of the year, we have been busy searching for solutions to some of life’s most important questions. How do we support exports, solve skills shortages, sort climate change, stop suspect governance? Will England ever beat Australia again? Well here are some of our ideas, but let us know if you think we’ve missed anything…

Valued input – We submitted evidence to the House of Commons Business and Trade Committee on how exports can support business growth. The government wants to know what the opportunities are for exporters, how future-proof free trade agreements are, and whether the UK can reach a value of £1 trillion exports by 2023. We told them here.

Lights, camera, London Climate Action Week – It’s London Climate Action Week (LCAW). This means experts and professionals in this space have been coming together to find global solutions to climate change. We enjoyed getting involved: we attended LCAW’s live event, and a parliamentary reception celebrating Project Perseus – led by Bankers for Net Zero – which aims to slay the head of global warming, by creating low-friction sustainability reporting. We’re on the spearing steering group for that. You can find out more here.

To summit up – Our Chief Economist represented members at the Northern Powerhouse Education Employment and Skills Summit in Sheffield. She spoke about how businesses are experiencing difficulties recruiting the staff they need and discussed the role of regional and national government to help.

Fully invested – This week the government published statistics that showed how inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has performed in 2022-23. And the answer is quite well. 1,645 new FDI projects were recorded, and close to 80,000 new jobs were created as a result. Most of this investment came from USA, Germany, India, France and Canada, and the top sector bringing in this investment was software and computer services.

Trading schemes – On Monday, the new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) was implemented to replace the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. The DCTS is a preferential trading scheme which has been designed to boost trade with developing countries. It cuts tariffs, simplifies rules of origin requirements and other import costs. Find more information here.

Leaky pipes – There is considerable concern about the financial resilience of a number of water companies. Several companies seem to have taken on excessive levels of debt in an effort to balance shareholders’ returns and public expectations for investment. We think this shows distinct lack of governance.

Getting down to business – The Scottish Government have created a New Deal for Business Group to facilitate better government-business relations. The Scottish Government feels that better engagement will allow a greater understanding of the needs and interests of businesses and help to remove barriers to growth. Our National Chair, Julie Ashworth, is representing the IoD round the table.

Next week, watch out for…

Tuesday 4 July

  • We are hosting our July 2023 Director’s Update event, in which we will present our Director’s Quarterly Update report, exclusive for IoD members. We will examine the state of the UK economy together with regulation, legislation and government policy relevant to directors. There is also a briefing on recent developments in corporate governance and ESG. Sign up here.
  • The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Grant Shapps, will take oral evidence in the House of Commons.

Wednesday 5 July

  • The Treasury Committee will take oral evidence on inflation in the House of Commons
  • Prime Minister’s Questions at midday

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Finding stability in a changing economy

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