Members of the Lords debated the current level of growth in the UK economy, yesterday (Thursday 16 May 2013).
Lord Soley (Labour), opened the debate with a speech identifying three areas with possibilities for growth: infrastructure, housing and relationships with emerging markets, particularly in Africa. Speaking about Nigeria's 'dramatically growing economy', he said: 'There is an emerging market there, particularly in high-tech goods. It is high-technology that can drive our expansion.'
Lord Marland (Conservative), a businessman and former minister for business, innovation and skills, spoke of his experience of being a government trade envoy and also emphasised the importance of trade: 'My plea to everyone in this House, the other House and elsewhere is to persuade the local companies you have got to know to get out there and trade and make investments overseas.'
Baroness Kramer (Liberal Democrat), member of the joint parliamentary commission on banking standards, suggested that the predicament of the British economy could be attributed to an over-reliance on the financial services industry: 'We had bled much of the life out of our other activities, both in the service industries and manufacturing industries.'
She concluded that there were positive signs for economic growth in the UK. While warning that international conditions make it unwise to unequivocally talk about green shoots, domestically, at least, experts are starting to 'identify that the beginnings of a real recovery are under way.'