The next Welsh Assembly Government must champion the importance of retail as a sector for creating jobs, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Launching its Manifesto for Welsh Retail 2011 this morning, ahead of the Welsh elections on May 5th, the BRC called for the next government to avoid increasing the regulatory burden on businesses and to deliver the right planning regime for town centres.
BRC’s statement says that retail generates ten per cent of the GDP of Wales, compared to seven per cent for the UK as a whole.
It adds that nearly 140,000 people in Wales are employed in the retail industry and the sector is one of the few to increase its workforce in the past few years.
Director General of the BRC Stephen Robertson said: “The numbers speak for themselves. Retail is the engine room of recovery and matters even more to the Welsh economy than to the UK as a whole.
“Given the right support, the retail sector will help Wales towards a secure and sustainable future.
“Retail is not a sector that looks for subsidies. It is naturally entrepreneurial. Even in these challenging times it is creating jobs and investing in growth.”
With the election for the Welsh Assembly Government fast approaching, Robertson suggested it is a “crucial period” for the private sector, with decision makers either able to help or hinder business growth.
Parties involved in next month’s election published their manifestos this week, with both the Welsh Labour Party and Welsh Liberal Democrats’ documents criticised for being published with Welsh language typos.
Robertson adds: “We simply ask that the next Welsh Government works with us to provide the best conditions for success.”