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Trade Missions must get real results fast - Eluned Parrott

May 13, 2013 2:20 PM

Commenting on today's published list of Welsh Government Trade Missions and Exhibitions over the next twelve months, Shadow Liberal Democrat Business Minister Eluned Parrott AM said:

"I welcome the news that the Welsh Government are attending lots of events with the aim of boosting the Welsh Economy however the Welsh Government must ensure that they get useful outcomes from these trips as our export economy is continuing to struggle.

"Just last month we learnt that Welsh exports to non EU countries fell by 7.5% while the UK wide figure rose by 5.1%. Clearly a better focus is needed to deliver the results Wales and Welsh taxpayers deserve.

"More than a year ago the Economy Minister Edwina Hart conceded that her department hadn't got the branding for Wales right. That is now the critical issue - what market proposition are we using to sell ourselves overseas and is it clear enough? For many years we have attempted to say that we were both a cheap location for inward investment but also a confident export economy in our own right. We can't appeal to both the lowest and the highest common denominator at the same time and expect to be seen as credible.

"The Welsh Government must finalise its branding strategy for Wales and start delivering a confident, consistent message to our trading partners and investors. Attending one trade mission and getting it right will be more valuable than sending out mixed messages at twenty."