UK must not miss public service boom in emerging economies

 
Julian Harris
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A LEADING business group will today urge the government to ensure the UK benefits from a growing industry in providing public services to people in emerging markets.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) calculates that public procurement in a dozen key emerging economies will be worth £452bn by 2030 – but warns that, at current rates, the UK would only capture £11bn of this growth.

The government can improve the situation by setting up so-called contracting agencies, and by promoting public services firms during overseas trade missions. Demand for service sector suppliers alone will grow by 6.1 per cent each year, the CBI predicts.

“To boost opportunities for our exporters, we want the UK government to set up contracting agencies with priority markets, to help them navigate the procurement maze,” said Katja Hall, chief policy director at the CBI.

“We also want the EU-US trade talks to prioritise public procurement. I want to see ministers championing this important sector, and for CEOs of public services firms to be just as readily invited on trade missions as manufacturers.”