First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
As the UK’s future relationship with the European Union
hangs over the capital’s businesses, according to the latest CBI/CBRE London Business Survey, firms view the technology and creative sectors as fundamental to London’s future prosperity.
Two thirds of the 271 respondents to the London Business Survey (65 per cent) said that the technology and creative sectors were the principal sectors for the capital’s economic growth over the next five years, followed by professional services (49 per cent) and financial technology (47per cent). With more than nine in ten (91 per cent) firms continuing to rate London as a good or great place to do business, bolstering the resilience of the city’s infrastructure is also key to securing the capital’s future growth. Nearly three quarters of firms want the Government to push ahead with Crossrail 2 whilst over half of businesses want Heathrow’s third runway to be a priority project.
With the majority of London businesses employing staff from the EU (88 per cent), Brexit is having a significant impact on the capital’s companies. Just under three quarters of firms (73 per cent) view uncertainty over the UK’s role in Europe as their top concern, whilst a similar number have developed, or are developing, a contingency plan for when the UK leaves the EU. Indeed, over a quarter of respondents indicated they are planning to move part of their operations overseas. Close to two thirds have, or are developing, a strategy to address skill shortages that could be incurred if restrictions are placed on EU nationals working in the UK.
Coupled with concerns about Brexit, only 10 per cent of companies feel more optimistic about the economy over the next six months, compared to 19 per cent in the last survey, whilst only 16 per cent feel more optimistic about their own business prospects over the next half year (compared to 26 per cent in the last survey).