Industry leaders welcome Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy

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More than 100 top UK firms, including pharmaceutical and manufacturing leaders and business representative bodies like the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Critical Minerals Association have contributed to the strategy to ensure it helps develop resilient and secure supply chains that protect both their business and the consumers who rely on them.

Ross Baker, Chief Commercial Officer, Heathrow said:

Heathrow connects the UK to 95% of the world’s economy and facilitates imports of the high value, time-critical goods that British industries like pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and technology rely on. We welcome Government initiatives that make doing business in the UK easier and more efficient, from shoring up supply chains to streamlining cargo processes at the airport, so Heathrow can meet growing demand to import and export across the globe.

UK Chamber of Shipping Commercial and Governance Policy Director, Katrina Ross, said:

We welcome the UK Government’s focus on critical imports and supply chains through the publishing of this strategy. 95% of UK imports and exports are moved by sea, and our sector’s challenges should be considered as part of the move to build supply chain resilience and to help deliver the UK and global net-zero ambitions.

Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade said:

The launch of this new Strategy is good news for British businesses and the wider economy. It’s something we have been calling for, with many of our members raising issues around the supply of key components and ingredients. These have been driven by a range of factors including protectionist policies in other markets, shipping and logistics problems, sanctions and security concerns. So it’s positive to see action being taken to remedy this.

After all, a robust supply of imports to the UK is vital. Nearly 50% of our food is imported, while the high tech and green industries depend on fiercely sought-after critical minerals and other components from overseas. Having a dedicated import strategy, bringing business into the process of advising and informing policy, [combined with the ongoing digitalisation of trade,] will help our manufacturers and our supply chains boost resilience at a time of growing global instability.

Kevin Craven, Chief Executive, ADS:

In an increasingly unstable geopolitical environment, attention and support to our critical imports capability and supply chain activity is increasingly welcome. ADS welcomes the priorities and the key commitments outlined. Industry eagerly awaits the much needed implementation plan, particularly where this relates to existing strategy coordination.

Founder and Chief Executive of the Critical Minerals Association (UK), Kirsty Benham, said:

We welcome the publication of the new Critical Imports & Supply Chain Strategy. We are pleased that critical minerals are featured as an integral part of the strategy as countries globally race to source their mineral needs. The strategy recognises the importance of cross-industry collaboration in building resilient supply chains, and futureproofing the UK economy from supply shocks and geopolitical uncertainty. UK businesses require secure, responsible critical mineral supply chains to deliver the UK’s Net Zero Strategy, Energy Security, and Advanced Manufacturing Plan. We welcome government commitments to ensure a supportive business ecosystem, remove unnecessary trade barriers and encourage investment. We look forward to continued industry and government engagement across these sectors and supporting with the delivery of the strategy.

Richard Torbett, ABPI Chief Executive said:

The government’s approach to the critical imports for pharmaceuticals will support our industry to maintain resilient supply chains, helping to ensure consistent access to medicines for UK patients. The medicines and vaccines developed by our industry are vital to public health and the economy. Recent global events like the pandemic have shown that our industry can manage and address global supply chain shocks, especially when working collaboratively with government, and this strategy supports our industry in doing so going forward.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said:

With our success powered by complex global supply chains, the automotive industry has been pleased to help shape a new strategy that will support manufacturing agility and responsiveness. As we accelerate production of the cleanest and greenest vehicles, and the batteries they need, such a strategy is essential and we look forward to continuing this vital engagement to boost Britain’s resilience and competitiveness – essential to the continued success of the UK as a top tier investment destination for the automotive sector.

Sean Sargent, Green Lithium Chief Executive said:

Green Lithium is pleased to support the new Critical Imports & Supply Chains Strategy. This strategy will help ensure that Green Lithium can acquire the critical minerals it requires to supply the UK’s first low-carbon lithium refinery, further advancing a UK battery supply chain and electric vehicle production. This endeavour will support the UK economy by creating sustainable employment opportunities and supply chains that are fundamental to the energy transition. In combination with the UK Critical Minerals Strategy and the US-UK Atlantic Declaration, we anticipate that this strategy will attract investment in the UK’s critical mining and refining industries and enhance relationships with key mining countries, including Australia, Canada and Brazil. We are grateful to all those involved in establishing this vital strategy.

Evan Smith, Chief Executive and co-founder of Altana Technologies:

We are honoured that the Government is using the Altana Atlas, the only dynamic, AI-powered map of the global supply chain, to facilitate collaboration across the private and public sectors in support of the Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy.

DBT’s groundbreaking initiative, the Global Supply Chains Intelligence Programme, provides HMG with an unprecedented common operating picture of the global supply chain, facilitating proactive supply chain resilience planning and decision making all enabling enduring UK economic security.

Katherine Bennett CBE, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, said:

A thriving UK manufacturing sector, one that attracts investment into its world-leading green technologies, is reliant on secure supply chains. Last month’s report from the government’s critical minerals taskforce outlined the key dependencies in value chains and recent events have only brought those into sharper focus.

If we can implement the report’s recommendations alongside the government’s new Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy, we can mitigate the risks for UK industry, avoid costly disruptions and secure the vital materials we need to make the transition to net zero.

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