SHEVAUN HAVILAND: A CRITICAL TIME FOR BUSINESS TO BE HEARD

18 May 2023

Business

Director General of the BCC, Shevaun Haviland, is to urge the Government to reconnect with business as firms see no progress on the barriers to growth.  

She will speak out at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Global Annual Conference 2023 on Wednesday May 17. In her keynote address, she will urge Government to put business at the heart of its plans to revive the UK economy.  

And with a General Election less than 18 months away she will set out the keys issues that matter most to firms. She will say that only by addressing these can business confidence be regained after being battered and bruised by the pandemic, the fallout from the war in Ukraine and last year’s political chaos.  

ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION 

Shevaun is expected to say: “As we move forward into an increasingly digital age, it’s vital that we answer the crucial questions that firms are asking.   

“How can we use AI to revolutionise the way we operate? What policies could help us embrace its benefits?  And how can we safeguard against negative consequences and ensure no one is left behind in this new digital age? 

“At the Chambers, we’re led by one of Britain’s true digital pioneers. Our President, Martha Lane Fox has been at the heart of digital innovation. [We must] harness the transformative power of technology, tackle the challenges ahead and redesign our future.” 

ON GLOBAL BRITAIN   

Emphasising the importance of international trade in growing the UK economy, Shevaun will say: “Post-Brexit, the UK is figuring out its economic role in the world.  Both exports and inward investment are facing growing competition.    

“But it’s a problem we are well placed to help solve. We know how to find opportunities and partners all over the world and give businesses the tools to break into new markets.      

“We are working to ensure that the UK continues to be a great place to invest.     

“So that when global investors are deciding where to put their money, they see in the UK the conditions, talent, and access to finance that make it one of the best places in the world to invest.” 

ON GREEN INNOVATION 

She will bring her perspective as chair of the Business Advisory Group for the Climate Change Committee to outline the issues firms are facing: 

“The UK is a leader in green innovation but with the lack of direction by government, we are seeing the US and the EU moving ahead, and fast becoming a far more attractive opportunity for those businesses.   

“This is a huge economic opportunity for UK Plc. New global markets for low carbon products and services are worth an estimated £1trn to the UK by 2030. Let’s not turn our back on that.”