background preloader

Texts

Facebook Twitter

Takeovers: Why don't we protect like the French? | The Independent. To protect, or not to protect? That's the economic question currently dominating the political debate. Pfizer's attempted takeover of AstraZeneca is cleaving opinion and throwing up vast dust clouds of muddle. Some vehemently insist that the matter is the proper concern only of the shareholders of the two companies. According to this view of the world, politicians should not even voice an opinion on the deal.

Others counter that the prospective takeover will affect the interests of far more people in Britain than AstraZeneca's shareholders. Crucial research jobs and the country's science base are at stake, they argue, so politicians are right to intervene in the national interest. Many are left in the middle, unsure what to think, including, apparently, the Prime Minister, who has blown in different directions on the issue. One argument often heard is that economic protectionism along national lines ultimately makes countries that engage in it poorer.

What about protecting British jobs? Explicit cookie consent. Explicit cookie consent. UK slips down world competitiveness league | Business. Britain has slipped to 10th in an influential global competitiveness index after being overtaken by Sweden. The World Economic Forum thinktank, which hosts the gathering of business and political leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos each January, said that Britain has slipped one place to rank as the 10th most competitive economy in the world, with Switzerland and Singapore topping the table. The WEF assesses the world’s economies across more than 100 different indicators, from the quality of infrastructure to the flexibility of labour markets. Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz, the WEF’s lead economist, said both Sweden and the UK had made progress over the past twelve months. But Sweden’s improvement had been more significant, particularly in business sophistication: the extent to which firms use the latest techniques, in marketing for example.

Countries with good digital infrastructure. iStock The productivity of a country used to rest entirely upon the strength and quality of its transport links and infrastructure. But today the strongest driver of a country’s economic growth is the state of its digital infrastructure. And economies across the world are responding by going digital — and fast. New research has ranked countries by their investment in digital infrastructure, and the results are surprising. The whitepaper from Huawei, titled "Connect Where It Counts," features a Global Connectivity Index (GCI), which measured how 50 nations are progressing with digital transformation using information and communications technology (ICT). The countries topping the list are the US, Singapore, and Sweden. So why is the UK so far ahead of its neighbours? Huawei In addition to broadband, like many of the economies leading the way in GCI 2016, the UK government has been focusing on developing big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).

This post is sponsored by Huawei. EU vows to toughen up trade defences against cheap Chinese imports | World news. The EU executive has vowed to toughen up Europe’s trade defences in a bid to prevent industry from being overwhelmed by artificially cheap Chinese imports. The European commission promised “faster and firmer” action against foreign producers flooding world markets with subsidised goods, dashing China’s hopes of gaining “market economy status” under existing trade rules.

China has been lobbying for market economy status in the World Trade Organisation, a change that would make it harder for other countries to challenge Beijing over state-subsidised goods being dumped on world markets. The seemingly arcane dispute over nomenclature has gained political potency, as massive overproduction of state-subsidised steel from China has forced the closure of plants across Europe.

In the UK, some 11,000 jobs are at risk at Tata Steel, including 4,000 at Port Talbot. Tata Steel has refused to guarantee the future of the Port Talbot works, although it is working with the UK government on a rescue plan. Industrial strategy welcomed as part of government's new business policy | Politics. Business leaders have overwhelmingly welcomed Theresa May’s decision to merge the government’s business and energy departments and add the phrase “industrial strategy” into the title, claiming it could allow the UK to build a long-term economic plan.

The new Conservative prime minister has appointed Greg Clark as the secretary of state for the new department of business, energy and industrial strategy. Clark replaces Sajid Javid, the former business, innovation and skills secretary, who has been moved to communities and local government to take over Clark’s old job.

The decision marks a change of direction for the Conservative government and its approach to business. Javid, a former investment banker, had expressed his dislike at the phrase industrial strategy, suggesting the approach of his Liberal Democrat predecessor Sir Vince Cable had alienated industries that were not part of the plan. However, Clark said he had been “charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy”. An industrial strategy is hard to achieve. But at least laissez-faire is over | Politics.

Over the years, politicians of all stripes have had big ideas for Whitehall’s business department. When he was industry secretary in the 1970s, Tony Benn thought state ownership, planning agreements with companies and protectionism were the answer to Britain’s productivity problem. Twenty years later, Michael Heseltine said he would intervene before breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner to promote the interests of UK plc. When Gordon Brown was in deep trouble during the Great Recession of 2008-09, he wanted a big beast to provide support for key sectors of the economy. Burying the hatchet with an old foe, he called on Peter Mandelson to do the job. It’s fair to say that Greg Clark has yet to attain the status of a Benn, a Heseltine or a Mandelson.

Even so, Clark has something never granted to any of his predecessors. The message is clear. Such growth as there has been during the economy’s recovery has been driven by the housing market and concentrated in London and the south-east. Uk.businessinsider. Survival of the fittest. Asia: Asian values. A tale of two economies. Business: Global niche players. Uk.businessinsider. Uk.businessinsider. Uk.businessinsider.

UK tech companies not in London - Business Insider. Tech City UK blogTechnology is not just doing well in London. The government just announced the launch of "Tech Nation", an interactive data project by its Tech City UK drive, which champions digital enterprise and investment. Naturally, it's based in London's own "Silicon Valley," home to numerous startups and, in fact, Business Insider's UK office. But while the UK's tech hub is in London, around three-quarters of all digital companies in the UK operate outside it. In fact, as the government notes, "analysis shows that the UK's tech clusters are driving economic growth nationally and that the growth of digital business reaches far beyond the capital.

" The crucial stat is this: 74% of digital companies are based outside of the M25 ringroad around the capital. It's a good thing: tech is massively important to trade and investment. Tech City UK/Facebook More findings from the Tech Nation report today: An easy case study is Cambridge — which is its own tech hub. Tech City UK blog. Casinos Fail Old Industrial Towns | Peter Van Buren.

It wasn't just a business, it was a way of life-- what residents of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania referred to simply as "The Steel"-- a mill once America's second largest steel producer with 31,500 souls working in a single facility. The Mill The mill made the steel for the Empire State building and the Golden Gate Bridge, and for WWII warships. After cheap imports flooded the United States in the 1980s, the Bethlehem Steel facility closed, leaving behind a mile-long scar of rusted out buildings people call the brownfields, along the Lehigh River.

Allentown, Billy Joel's bitter saga of industrial decline, name-checked the town. The Promise of Legalized Gambling So as soon as Pennsylvania legalized casinos in 2004, Bethlehem scrambled for one of the first, and won. Even those new jobs didn't come for free. The House Always Wins Still, there was money to be made in Bethlehem. Bringing in a casino is about jobs and money. Competition is a serious problem, as new casinos open in surrounding states. The hidden persuaders. LAST SUMMER FRED HOCHBERG, head of America’s government-backed Export-Import Bank, joined the chief of Westinghouse on a sales trip in the Czech Republic. A Czech official, he recalls, told him they would not even consider Westinghouse’s bid to expand a nuclear power plant without finance from his bank. Russia’s state-owned nuclear-energy company, Rosatom, had already offered to fund half the project. Mr Hochberg promised to do the same if Westinghouse, an American unit of Japan’s Toshiba, won the bid.

“It’s time to drop the fantasy that a purely free market exists in the world of global trade,” Mr Hochberg told an American audience shortly after returning from Prague. “In the real world our private enterprises are pitted against an array of competitors that are often government-owned, government-protected, government-subsidised, government-sponsored or all of the above.”

Beyond tariffs and quotas GTA’s Simon Evenett, who is also a business professor at Switzerland’s University of St. Why companies not governments and regulators are to blame for innovation failure. By Colm Reilly Tuesday, 25 August 2015 In a world of relentless change, it goes without saying that all companies, irrespective of size or sector, need innovation to grow and thrive. And in a world of stagnating productivity, the global economy needs successful new ideas more than ever too. But as much as half of potential innovation - taking an idea or invention and converting it into a new product or a service that a customer will pay for – is failing. And it’s not the fault of governments, often viewed as being meddlesome, or the much criticised regulators. We talked to 751 companies across the world about their experience of what worked and what didn’t when bringing new products and services to market.

Half the senior executives we spoke to told us that their ideas had failed for entirely avoidable reasons, while almost the same number (47%) described their innovation activity as, at times, a costly failure. It doesn’t have to be this way. European tech: In Silicon Valley’s shadow. Money is flowing into start-ups, but tough EU rules could dash hopes of a Google or Facebook rival mbarish Mitra remembers the phone call well.

The voice at the other end — from a US company he refuses to identify — invited him to fly across the Atlantic to discuss a $1.5bn deal to buy Blippar, his three-year-old start-up. The conversation only lasted a few minutes. Mr Mitra gave it some thought, then turned the deal down. A year later, the Blippar founder and chief executive says he has not had second thoughts about keeping his London-based business independent. “We did the right thing,” says Mr Mitra, 36. Such brazen confidence is a hallmark of Silicon Valley : Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed several multibillion-dollar takeovers, and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel rejected a $3bn buyout from Facebook in 2013.

But European entrepreneurs, lacking an equivalent of Silicon Valley’s VC-laden Sand Hill Road, have tended to accept large acquisition offers. Slacker no more? Wales could be the Silicon Valley of public services | Public Leaders Network. The life sciences industry in Cambridge and the hi-tech business sector in Silicon Valley are well known throughout the world. These hotbeds of creativity generate jobs and opportunities locally and ideas that impact globally – and the same could be possible for public services in Wales. Industry clusters – loose geographical concentrations of firms from the same sector – can serve as catalysts for economic growth. Proximity leads to the sharing of talent and supply chains among competing firms.

Alongside this, ongoing relationships develop with other institutions such as universities, and ideas are shared face-to-face as trusting relationships develop between different parties. Nesta's report into public innovation in Wales, published in conjunction with the Independent Wales Public Services 2025 programme, explores the idea of an industry cluster for public services.

Its size also gives Wales an advantage over larger countries. . • Want your say? Looking for your next role?