Trade imbalance a “wasted opportunity”

Mr Allan speaking at the British Ports Association Conference 2018 Mr Allan speaking at the British Ports Association Conference 2018
Industry Database

The UK’s export-import imbalance — when the nation’s ports have invested hundreds of millions of pounds into boosting capacity and the country is facing threats to global trade from protectionism — is “a wasted opportunity”.

That’s according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) president John Allan, speaking to delegates at the British Ports Association Conference 2018.

Giving the keynote address in a session at the event, Mr Allan said that the UK’s trade deficit is the biggest it has ever been, second only across the globe to the US.

The president called for the country “to use every once of its industrial capacity” to sustain itself.

Mr Allan said that CBI research shows that the problem is not demand, as the market for British exports is growing robustly.

“It’s our export supply that’s falling behind,” he noted. “It’s not something ports alone can solve, but we need ports if we’re to turn this around.”

He added that increasing exports is “a sure-fire way to revive the UK’s stagnating productivity”.

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