You probably think that as the Chief Executive
of the Celtic Manor Resort in
Wales I’m biased, but I firmly believe that Wales is a great place to do
business. What better time than St David’s Day to take a look at a few of the reasons
Wales prides itself on its open, honest and friendly
approach to business. It
has an extremely supportive business community, with plenty of associations, organisations
and Welsh Government agencies supporting Welsh businesses of all sizes. Wales also has a thriving start-up scene
and organisations such as Finance Wales offer microloans and funding for
innovative, self-starters looking to get their businesses off the ground. In
South East Wales, we are working more closely together in the Capital City
Region to create a confident, collaborative and connected area primed for
The Welsh economy is on the up and
is showing no signs of stopping. Wales has also developed a strong reputation
internationally as a place to invest in, with luxury car manufacturers Aston
Martin and TVR both planning to open factories in Wales, while Tata Steel has decided
to keep its Port Talbot operations open and invest £1bn over the next 10 years.
On a more local level, Newport’s centre has seen significant (and much
anticipated) investment and regeneration over recent years and it’s now a
flourishing city and an attractive place to locate a business. Major universities such as Cardiff University
and the University of South Wales have both opened academic hubs in growth
areas such as software development and cyber security, right in the heart of
the city. And, we’ve joined forces with the University of South Wales to offer
a degree course in Hotel and Hospitality Management. All of which will attract
interest from far beyond our borders.
Welsh unemployment is
just 4.6 per cent, last year the
Welsh unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in a decade. What’s more it’s a little known fact that Wales has one
of the best staff retention records in Europe. Our longest serving staff member
at the Celtic Manor Resort has been with us for 30 years,
and we’re very proud of our loyal, dedicated and long-serving team.
Wales has become an international hub. A number of major events have taken place
right here in Wales and strengthened our worldwide reputation, such as the 2010 Ryder Cup and
the 2014 NATO Summit, both of which we were proud to host at the
Celtic Manor Resort. Wales has also staged major global sporting events such as
the Rugby World Cup, Ashes cricket and this year will host one of football’s
biggest occasions - the Champions League Final at the Principality Stadium. There’s
also the annual Hay Festival, with its spin-offs reaching an international
audience, and Wales’ world-famous Eisteddfod celebrations.
Wales is ready for the future. The International Convention Centre Wales, which is about to begin construction at
the Celtic Manor Resort and opens in 2019, will help cement Wales’ global
reputation and enable us, as a country, to tap in to the £21.6 billion UK
conferences and meetings market thanks to its state of the art auditorium and exhibition
hall with a total capacity for 5,000 delegates. It will be the largest facility
of its kind in Wales and the south west of England, attracting a range of
exciting new events and international prospects.
Now, more than ever, it’s important for
Wales to play to all its strengths and further establish itself as a centre for
business excellence, not just at a local and UK level, but globally too. I
believe we have everything it takes to do so.
Do you agree? Please leave a comment, I’m
keen to hear your thoughts.
Wishing you a very happy St David’s Day!