MONMOUTH Assembly Member and Shadow Minister for Business, Nick Ramsay, is calling for a change in the way that Wales is marketed.
Giving evidence to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee at a session on inward investment in Wales, Nick claimed that the abolition of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) was a mistake.
“The abolition of the WDA is an ongoing problem for Wales. Civil servants can’t repeat its grand success and, moving ahead, we must have marketing at arm’s length from the Welsh government. It’s got to be about collaboration, working with local authorities and the UK government.”
However, the AM said he was pleased to hear confirmation that enterprise zones would soon be introduced.
“While I don’t think enterprise zones are a panacea that will solve everything – if you are going to have zones just across the border, we need something similar here, even if it’s not the English model.
“It does seem as though we are punching below our weight on inward investment – we are simply not making the inroads we should be and we need answers from the Minister as to why that is not happening.
“I hear a lot about the need to address inward investment, but no solutions! There are all sorts of ways that Wales could be marketed differently and we are certainly not there yet.”
Nick also called for tourism to be included in the Economic Renewal Programme’s six key sectors.
“I think it’s unwise not to include tourism. For companies in the sector not to be able to go to the government seems to be barking,” he said.