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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Welsh Government sets out its post-pandemic vision

The Welsh Government is setting out how it will work to reconstruct and rebuild Wales’s economy in the aftermath of the pandemic, making it "more prosperous, equal and green than ever before".

The Government will today publish its Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission which sets out how it will work to rebuild Wales’ post-Covid economy so that it "values and prioritises wellbeing, drives prosperity, is environmentally sound, and helps every person in Wales to realise their potential".

Priorities include strengthening the everyday sectors of the Welsh economy, increasing the incidence of fair work across Wales and reinvigorating our town centres.

There is also a focus on supporting firms to innovate and diversify, speeding up business decarbonisation and investing in climate resilient infrastructure.

The Welsh Government is also announcing an additional £270m for the Development Bank of Wales’s Flexible Investment Fund, bringing the total invested through this fund to £500m by 2030. 

Boosting the fund aims to improve the supply of long-term, accessible business finance and help more firms to grow and expand. 

The fund can make debt and equity investments of between £25k and £10m, including 15 year loans, to SMEs and non-SMEs.

Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “This last year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and while our vital work to combat the virus goes on, it is important to consider what comes next.

“We have an opportunity to look to the future and reconstruct the economy with the fundamental goal of achieving long term well-being with dignity and fairness for people.

“We will do this by strengthening the everyday economy, delivering on our Covid Commitment to support people in improving skills and gaining employment, and by helping businesses meet the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow. We will also maximise sustainable investment in Wales and fortify our pursuit of fair work and social value with businesses and organisations who receive public funding.

“The additional £270m funding for the Development Bank will support businesses the length and breadth of Wales, creating and protecting thousands of jobs for individuals as we seek to deal with the long-term challenges of Covid and Brexit.”

As part of the mission, the Welsh Government says it will maximise future major investments through ‘magnet projects’, which will attract longer term investments and provide important employment, skills, and innovation and development opportunities.

The Economic Contract will also be refreshed and strengthened helping businesses to embed fair work, low carbon and climate resilience into their operations.

The Minister added: “We have a clear, ethical and coherent vision for economic resilience and reconstruction that is anchored on social justice and with the commitment of the people, communities and the businesses that make up our economy, I know that we can succeed in building a prosperous and fair economy and future that works better for everyone.”

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said: “The goal to deliver a competitive and sustainable economy that raises living standards, promotes higher pay, and delivers the revenues we need to support public priorities is the right one for Wales.

“But the Welsh Government can’t do that alone. From promoting diversity and inclusion to improving mental health, championing green behaviours to inspiring the next generation; business must continue to be a true partner of government. At its best, business is an engine of progress that will play a crucial role in overcoming the pandemic and building a better Welsh economy.

“Additional sources of accessible finance are welcome and represent an important investment in the Welsh business community, one that will be repaid through jobs, growth and, ultimately, delivering a more prosperous Wales.”

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