David Cameron has pledged to help businesses create jobs and boost economic growth. Addressing the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference for the first time since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Cameron outlined how the Government plans to createa 'new economic dynamism'.
"We're in a world of unprecedented economic change, with millions of new consumers and countless innovations where companies are starting with less investment than ever before, yet still becoming global giants within a matter of years," he said, before adding, "This is an incredible opportunity for Britain, for new start-ups to flourish, for innovations to drive growth and create jobs."
Setting out the Government's strategy for growth, the Conservative Party leader said the coalition would provide a competitive environment for private sector growth. Mr Cameron announced the introduction of a national infrastructure plan aimed at unlocking some £200 billion worth of public and private sector investment over the next five years.
"It's a plan to completely update and modernise our infrastructure, so British business is free to compete with the rest of the world," he explained.
"To build that new dynamism in our economy, to create the growth, jobs and opportunities Britain needs we've got to back the big businesses of tomorrow, not just the big businesses of today."
"That means opening up access to finance, creating an attractive environment for venture capital funding, getting banks lending to small businesses again and insisting that a far greater proportion of government procurement budgets are spent with small and medium-sized firms."
He also told the conference that some industries are too uncompetitive, with significant barriers to entry and obstacles to growth.
Promising to challenge the status quo, Mr Cameron said the competition functions of the Office of Fair Trading and Competition Commission will be merged, and a range of other changes introduced to create a much tougher and more streamlined competition regime. Above all, however, he said the Government wants to help new companies break into existing markets.
"Everything - from bank lending to skills, green tech to high tech, competition to innovation, international trade to local growth - will be put under the microscope," he promised.
"That forensic, relentless focus on growth is what you will get from this Government".
"What I need in return from you is a commitment to create and innovate; to invest and grow; to develop and break boundaries."
Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, said the Prime Minister had demonstrated a real passion for business and an understanding that only business will create growth.
"There was a welcome emphasis on the need to re-boot the country's infrastructure, with a coherent vision of what needs to be done over the next five years to secure economic growth," added Mr Lambert.
"It was encouraging that he encompassed all parts of the economy, from broadband to ports and from transport to energy. He also made clear that access to finance and immigration would not be barriers to future growth."
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