Wales... a great place to do business

28 February 2017

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 why…

  1. 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 economic growth.
  2. 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.
  3. Welsh unemployment is down. At 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Ian Edwards

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