28th January 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron has asked for Zaun’s opinions on the economy as he celebrated GDP figures showing 1.9% growth in 2013.
The PM’s office asked Zaun to comment for news outlets on trading conditions and other high profile business leaders in the West Midlands.
Zaun co-founder and director Alastair Henman said: “Trading conditions have been tough over the last few years. Customers expect more and demand a high level of service whilst opportunities are scarce. So we have had to innovate and add more value to keep ahead and busy. Those efforts are really starting to pay off as the activity level starts to increase.
“Both home and export markets are exciting and actual. We have recruited to move back to 24hr operation and employed new technical staff to ensure we make the most of our resources. 2014 is looking very exciting indeed. I hope the government recognises the need for not just a mixed economy but a mixed manufacturing base – not everything needs to be high-tech, but there is a need to strive to be world-class in your sector and to invest for success.“
Paul Noon, UK Trade & Industry’s Regional Director for the West Midlands, said: “The last year has seen a dramatic rise in the export of goods from the West Midlands. In 2012-2013, the region exported goods worth £22,640 million. Already this year (2013-2014), exports from the region have reached £19,350 million. This fantastic success is being led by the likes of JLR and JCB but with many smaller companies contributing to the continued improvement in our export figures. We are confident this trend will continue, especially with an increased effort to work with a wide range of local partners and encourage more mid-sized businesses (MSBs) to improve their export efforts.
“We’ll continue to support businesses of all sizes to grow through exports and have market visits planned across the globe, including USA, UAE, China and Brazil.
Andy Street, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Chair, said: “There is a feeling our businesses are fighting back and are gradually turning the corner. While we are always cautious about putting too much faith in statistics presented in isolation, the continuing downward trend in unemployment in Greater Birmingham is encouraging.
“If we look at this alongside Greater Birmingham’s success in attracting inward investment and our recent figures that show 19,000 new private-sector jobs were created in 2011-12, we see plenty to provide us with cautious optimism. With the work were are doing as an LEP and the exciting proposals being developed as part of our submission to the Local Growth Fund, we have longer-term job creation plans that will take us further.”