New 5 year business plan for UKTI

The UKTI have just published their new 5 year business plan  It is a glossy and comprehensive document but for me it has two HUGE holes in it.

It does not address how the inward investment activities will support the newly created Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and their business generation objectives – who now have the prime role for inward investment within their region and indeed are set up to compete with other regions for any inward investmment. Surely UKTI or the PA Consulting consortium must have a Service Level Agreement (+ non compete) with each of the LEPs.  It is interesting to note that London has opted out of the Inward Investment contract (but there is no mention of this)

There is still a major emphasis on highly subsidised and free services which again goes completely counter to the other declared Government policy of supporting SMEs and providing them with a level playing field.  How can private SME companies wishing to provide trade and investment support services hope to compete with government services provided for free.  In my opinion Government services should only be provided at full (and audited) cost (+ margin) and if there is a subsidy it should be given to the customer to offset the cost of the service (from a public or private provider). The choice should lie with the customer.

The UK needs to raise its game internationally but I dont see a “joined up” strategy in this paper – just more of the same. 

 I would be interested in other peoples opinions

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