Thursday, July 22, 2010


Finally, I have managed to track down the latest performance data for International Business Wales (IBW).

However, I had to go directly to UKTI for this information as it was not forthcoming from the Welsh Assembly Government.

For the record, this is the performance for IBW for the year 2009-2010.
  • 65 new projects
  • 3,431 new jobs
  • 3,931 safeguarded jobs
This gives a total of 7,362 jobs created or safeguarded by IBW, which is a higher number than the other devolved regions of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

More importantly, IBW has been responsible for 7.8 per cent of all inward investment related jobs in the UK, well above what is expected for Wales.

Therefore, congratulations can finally be offered to the team at IBW that have done their nation proud against their regional rivals and, more importantly, have generated nearly 3,500 new jobs at a time when we have lost nearly 50,000 in the private sector as a result of the recession.

What is shameful about this whole episode is that WAG has been sitting on this data for about ten days but have steadfastly refused to publicise the success of IBW because of the Minister's decision to abolish the body as part of his new economic strategy for Wales.

I would have thought that the creation of 3,500 new jobs and beating most of your regional rivals would have been a cause for celebration but political imperatives were far more important than demonstrating that the Welsh economy finally has a good news story.

I just hope the Minister, his advisers and senior managers have been suitably embarrassed by IBW's excellent performance at a time when has been little else to celebrate during the last two years.

I know they won't change their mind over their decision to close down the division - when was the last time you saw a politician apologise for making a mistake - but at least IBW staff can hold their heads up high knowing they have done a great job for Wales PLC.

Well done to every single one of you. You have done Wales proud.