Tag Archives: Wales

Severn Tolls Abolition Spreading Prosperity Across South East Wales

Newport property market on the up

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Today’s (15 March 2018) news that Newport’s property market is the fastest moving in Britain has been welcomed by the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns.

The figures published by property portal Rightmove further evidences how the Welsh economy is going from strength to strength, significantly bolstered by the reduction of the Severn tolls and UK Government’s commitment to abolishing them at the end of this year.

A key poll taken at the first UK Government Severn Growth Summit in January revealed that 97% of delegates felt that the removal of the Severn tolls would be of benefit to Wales and companies on both sides of the border are already benefitting from the removal of VAT from the crossing tolls earlier in January.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

When I became Secretary of State for Wales I made it my number one priority to abolish the Severn tolls and send a direct message to industry, commuters and tourists in the UK and globally that Wales is open for business. This UK Government decision is about spreading prosperity across a natural economic region that has been severely hindered by the tolls for over half a century.

With tolls being abolished later this year, it is great to see the transformation of the joint economic and cultural prospects of South Wales and the South West of England already underway. It is just the start of a series of policies that will see the whole of South Wales benefit from an active intervention by the UK Government.

Scrapping the tolls will be the biggest economic stimulus in decades and will transform the economic and cultural prospects of the south Wales and south west England region, making it easier to do business, to increase inward investment and tourism and to create jobs.

PM Meeting With First Minister Carwyn Jones

Prime Minister Theresa May held talks with Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones in Downing Street

10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

After the latest Joint Ministerial Committee this afternoon, the Prime Minister met with the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.

Following on from discussions in the JMC, the First Minister and the Prime Minister agreed that they should continue to work together to find an agreement on the amendment to Clause 11 in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The First Minister also raised the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon, the devolution of Air Passenger Duty and the recent developments of the United States’ position on steel.

Breaking Down Barriers To Welsh Global Exporting Ambitions

Alun Cairns to host Export Strategy meeting in Cardiff

Global Export

Global Export

  • UK Government seeks views of Welsh businesses on how to boost export potential
  • Global Welsh exporters Hiut Denim and Aerfin to help inform UK Government’s export strategy review

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns will challenge Welsh enterprises to set their sights on a global future when he gathers business leaders around the table to discuss the priorities, opportunities and challenges they face on their exporting journeys around the world.

It is part of a series of engagement opportunities undertaken by the UK Government as part of its Export Strategy review.

The Government is working closely with industry to understand the challenges faced by UK firms, increase awareness of export support and finance that is already available, and explore how this can be improved.

Cardigan based denim manufacturer Hiut – who export 25% of their jeans around the world, and the UK’s fastest growing exporter, AerFin in Caerphilly will be among those joining the Secretary of State at the first roundtable meeting in Cardiff today (15 March) with another planned for north Wales later this month.

Exports from Wales rose by 12.3% to £16.4 billion in the latest year on year figures, is home to nearly 4,000 exporters with an average value per exporter of more than £4.2million.

Yet there is huge scope for more businesses to reach new customers by meeting demand for UK goods and services overseas.

As such, the UK Government is calling on Welsh businesses to contribute to the Export Strategy review and share their views on how the UK Government can encourage and support British businesses to take advantage of the enormous potential to grow.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

The big increase in Welsh exports shows our home-grown companies are succeeding on the world stage and consumers want the high quality goods and services that we have to offer.

The Export Strategy review will draw on expertise from across government and the private sector, helping us to understand how best to support British companies to take advantage of opportunities in overseas markets.

Throughout this process, I want to see significant input from businesses in Wales, both large and small, to ensure we develop a strategy that meets their needs.

The meeting comes in the week before a host of Welsh companies attend the UK Government’s GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong (21-24 March) – an event which will showcase the power of UK innovation and technology to the world.

The four-day event will bring together some of the UK and Asia’s most pioneering companies to share innovations that will drive the future of free trade and for businesses to build lifelong partnerships.

The UK Government will report on the export strategy in spring this year.

Top 5 ways the UK Government supports businesses to export:
  1. great.gov.uk – export platform which lists thousands of export opportunities worth millions of pounds. It also puts firms in touch with global buyers at the click of a mouse.
  2. UK Export Finance – the UK’s export credit agency provides financial support like capital loans, to ensure no viable export deal fails due to lack of finance and insurance. UKEF has recently partnered with 5 of the UK’s biggest banks, to help small businesses easily access government-backed financial support.
  3. Face-to-face support for exporters in England – delivered via a network of around 250 international trade advisers (ITAs). ITAs are managed by 9 delivery partners who operate in each of the 9 English regions.
  4. Trade shows – DIT supports trade shows across the world to showcase the best of UK companies from sectors including life sciences, automotive and food and drink.
  5. Board of Trade – with representatives from the business community to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of modern businesses. It meets 4 times a year rotated around the UK guaranteeing all parts of the union have a chance to raise the issues most important to them.

PM To Meet Ministers From Devolved Nations At Joint Ministerial Committee

Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with the devolved administrations to discuss the latest in the EU negotiations and how to work together to achieve a Brexit that works for the whole of the United Kingdom

10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street

The First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, along with representatives from the Northern Ireland Civil Service, will come to Downing Street for an update on the negotiations and to discuss recent progress on Clause 11 of the EU Withdrawal Bill, which would see the vast majority of returning devolved powers directly transferred to Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. Domestic issues and the importance of Northern Ireland’s continued involvement in the process, in the absence of an Executive, will also be discussed.

The Prime Minister will make clear her absolute commitment to devolution, strengthening the Union and delivering legal certainty for businesses and consumers across the UK as we forge a new, deep and special partnership with the EU.

She will also confirm the government’s intention for the devolved nations to not only maintain their existing powers once we leave the EU but also gain significant new decision-making abilities, including across issues such as water quality and energy efficiency.

The devolved administrations will also be given an update on the latest on the investigation into the incident in Salisbury.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Prime Minister Theresa May said:

At this important meeting with the devolved administrations today, I will be making clear my commitment to a deal that brings our country together, protects the security and prosperity of all our communities and business sectors, and reinforces our Union of nations.

We will discuss the EU negotiations and EU Withdrawal Bill and how the UK Government has tabled an amendment that will ensure the vast majority of powers returning from the EU that cross over with devolved competencies will transfer directly to Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

I am determined to secure a settlement that delivers an unprecedented democratic dividend for the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, while protecting and preserving the precious Union that is at the heart of our past, present and future success.

Alun Cairns To Host Commonwealth Big Lunch

Welsh Secretary to be joined by extreme environment athlete Richard Parks for Cardiff reception on Commonwealth Day

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will be joined by endurance athlete Richard Parks and representatives from youth, faith, diaspora and sport groups in Wales at a celebration of the global relationships forged by the Commonwealth when he hosts a Commonwealth Big Lunch in Cardiff Bay later today (12 March).

The Commonwealth Big Lunches, launched in partnership with the Eden Project, will take place across the Commonwealth between Commonwealth Day (12 March) and 22 April. The initiative is part of the official celebrations leading up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London next month.

Alun Cairns will celebrate the international and local connections created by the Commonwealth at a Big Lunch event at Caspian Point and encourage people to get together to celebrate their Commonwealth connections right across Wales.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

The Commonwealth is a unique family of nations made up of people bound by shared histories and values.

To celebrate these bonds and our diversity, I’m delighted that the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is hosting a Commonwealth Big Lunch right here in Wales, bringing members of our local communities together to celebrate what we have in common, as well as recognising the unique and diverse nature of the Commonwealth.

I’m looking forward to seeing every part of Wales come together to cement friendships, share food and fun with the people they live alongside at their own Commonwealth Big Lunch events between now and April. They offer wonderful opportunities for people of all ages to bring our great Commonwealth family alive in new ways as we work towards a common future – a future I’m incredibly hopeful for and the role Wales has to play in it.

The Commonwealth summit, held between 16-20 April, will see leaders from across 53 Commonwealth countries coming together in London and Windsor to address shared global challenges and discuss how to create a better future.

With the theme of ‘Towards a Common Future,’ leaders will focus on delivering a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fairer future for all Commonwealth citizens.

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