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Tyneside could hold key to unlocking economic growth

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  March 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Delegates from 15 European nations will descend on Tyneside to discuss economic growth


More than 150 delegates from 15 countries will arrive on Tyneside next week to attend an international conference on how to promote economic growth.

The experts from Spain, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Japan, Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic, will discuss the findings of the latest report by the OECD on how regions – large and small, deprived and prosperous – can create growth at a time when the UK and much of Europe is struggling with debts and austerity.

Academics, economists and politicians will take part in the two-day event on March 26 at the NewcastleGateshead Hilton Hotel followed by the main event at Newcastle Civic Centre on March 27.

A report, to be debated at the event, examined 23 cases studies in regional growth across Europe. Called Promoting Growth in all Types of Regions, it makes three key suggestions:

• Investing in less developed regions with potential for growth makes good economic sense
• Fastest growth does not necessarily happen in the most populated regions with infrastructure, innovation, transport and the labour market as key factors
• The mix of policies must be right, with growth, infrastructure and human capital all working together and not against each other.

The report reinforces the OECD’s new premise that regional policies should promote integrated, co-ordinated investments to unleash a region’s own assets and resources. Also that growth should be driven by assets from within regions such as human capital and innovation rather than by Government subsidies and fiscal transfers.

The report concludes that a multi-dimensional policy response is required to pull together the elements of regional growth.

Deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Joyce McCarty, who will speak at the event, welcomed OECD delegates to Newcastle. She said: “This report demonstrates that every region – no matter how small – has the potential for economic growth, and a time when the economy needs growth this has never been more relevant. In short, no region should be written-off and harness its strengths.

“The city council is acutely aware that it cannot kick-start growth on its own, and in an increasingly complex and interdependent world, we need to work closely with other councils and partners for the benefit of the North East to unlock its potential by maximising the talents of its greatest asset – its people.”

The city council’s Director of Policy and Strategy Andrew Lewis added: “The OECD is a highly respected organisation whose research influences decision makers at all levels of Government.

“I am sure that delegates will find the conference both stimulating and useful as we focus on the need to encourage economic growth in all regions to assist the economies of the UK and Europe.”

The North East is one of the 23 international case studies included in this report. It cites contributions to growth as including: the emergence of new sector jobs in creative and digital industries; the transformation of Newcastle city centre encouraging business and infrastructure linked to research; and effective higher educational programmes creating a skilled workforce.

However, it continues that the North East has a small private sector when compared nationally and needs a stronger focus on transport connections and housing to develop a stronger economy, along with greater continuity in governance.

It has been acknowledged that the visitor economy is an important part of Tyneside’s growth, with thousands of people arriving in the city every year to take Newcastle shopping breaks and Newcastle city breaks.



Category: Industry news

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