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26 October 2012
Senior business people from across South Wales met with Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to discuss the burning issues in the Welsh economy at a roundtable today at the University.
The roundtable, attended by representatives from the CBI, Federation of Small Businesses, OSTC Wales, Hugh James Solicitors, Darwin Gray, and BT, gave the opportunity for full and frank discussion surrounding the Silk Commission, devolved borrowing for Wales and the economic environment in which Welsh businesses were operating. Economic and political experts from Cardiff Business School and the University’s Wales Governance Centre provided academic evidence opinion.
Director of the Wales Governance Centre, Professor Richard Wyn Jones, chaired the Roundtable and later said: "Danny Alexander’s visit to the University provided a unique opportunity for a detailed, informal discussion with one of the key figures in economic policy making in the UK.
"Mr Alexander was open, highly engaged and, I must say, very engaging. What I found particularly striking was his passionate belief in making devolved government in Wales more financially accountable and the way that he related this to the challenges facing the Welsh economy. If the Silk Commission do propose radical changes when their report is published on the 19 November then they are clearly going to be pushing at an open door in the Treasury."
Professor Martin Kitchener, Dean for Cardiff Business School, said: "We were delighted to host the roundtable with Danny Alexander here at Cardiff Business School. Both the School and the University are committed to contributing to the economic prosperity of Wales. This event gave us the opportunity to bring business people and academics together with a senior politician, to debate vital issues for Wales."
Bethan Darwin, Partner of Darwin Gray solicitors, described the roundtable as: "A welcome opportunity for business leaders and economics academics to put their views about the Welsh economy to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury in informal surroundings. Mr Alexander was informed and receptive to the frank observations made to him."
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