Wales 2019 outlook
2018 has been a really positive year for Wales. Whilst there’s been lots of ongoing discussion about Brexit it’s been really pleasing to see that business sentiment has remained positive. In Wales both Manufacturing and Hospitality and Leisure sectors have performed really well. Both have benefitted from the weak pound and if we look at Hospitality and Leisure we have an increasing number of people opting for staycations.
This means that operators need to provide a different offering to ensure that we remain competitive. Over recent years Wales has also been really successful in attracting FinTech and high-growth businesses. It’s also been recognised as a hotspot outside of London.
Infrastructure & Connectivity
The Secretary of State for Wales has recently announced that the tolls on the Prince of Wales Bridge will be removed from the beginning of 2019. Whilst this is fantastic news for businesses in terms of cost control this also presents challenges in terms of infrastructure. The projects such as the M4 relief road and also projects to encourage access into rural Wales will become increasingly important.
I also wanted to share that Wales has got the first semiconductor cluster which is responsible for manufacturing many of those IOT devices. There’s a plan to put Wales firmly on the map in terms of 5G and many of these applications will benefit connectivity, not just across rural Wales and support the Welsh economy, but also across the UK as a whole and internationally.
As businesses move into Wales we’ll need to ensure that our commercial stock provides the connectivity for modern businesses and that Wales is able to offer the skills and workforce of the future.
This will mean that all businesses will need to collaborate whether that’s via industry across geography or with education establishments to ensure that we remain competitive and that our workforce has the skills of the future.
It’s fantastic that we’ve got so many opportunities for Wales not only in 2019 but beyond. We’ve got a fantastic team of relationship directors and support managers and they’re all really looking forward to working with businesses to help them achieve their ambitions for growth.