Vince Cable's praise for creative industries as Design Summit focuses on the economy

 

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The Independent Online

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, will today praise the creative industries at the opening of the Design Summit at London's City Hall which this year examines how Britain's design industry can help rebalance the economy.

"We should be proud of how our creative industries have meshed with technology and engineering to produce products that Britain and the rest of the world wants to buy," Mr Cable will say.

"British designers from Brunel and Burners-Lee to James Dyson and Vivienne Westwood have been admired around the world for generations. They have all contributed, not only to Britain's reputation as an innovative nation, but also to our economic growth."

The creative industries, including design, contribute 6 per cent of GDP in the UK and employ 2 million people.

Yet economists believe the sector could play a larger part in the economy and say consumers and businesses need to back Britain. New research reveals less than a third of Britons recently bought a product or service made or designed in the UK, excluding food.

David Kester, the chief executive of the Design Council which is running the Design Summit, said: "A recent report for the World Economic Forum shows that the UK comes 10th in global competitiveness. Germany is sixth.

"Every point means jobs. We could learn from the Germans and be prouder about our talents and success. To edge ahead at the top of the pack means competing on added value and innovation. That's where design comes in, turning our ideas into brands, products and services that people need and want."

The conference, of which The Independent is media partner, will see industry leaders including Ian Callum, design director of Jaguar, the economist John Kay, Brent Hoberman, the co-founder of lastminute.com, designer Sebastian Conran, architect Sunand Prasad and the Universities minister, David Willetts, explain how Britain's design industry can increase inward investment and export growth.

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