Trade and Immigration
While Solihull businesses are portraying an air of optimism for 2018, according to the Chamber’s latest Quarterly Business Report, the findings show that there are still concerns about hiring the right people with the right skills.
Many of the highly skilled professionals which businesses need come from the EU. Around 247,000 EU citizens are currently living in the West Midlands, who are employed by local firms and the future of these workers is of particular concern to businesses.
Uncertainty caused by Brexit negotiations has resulted in stagnant investment levels. Firms are concerned about fluctuating exchange rates and are looking for assurances around trade as well as immigration.
Forty seven per cent of the region’s exports come from the EU and 62 per cent of imports go to the EU, so how the Government plans to boost the levels of trade with non-EU countries is of particular interest.
Businesses need clear answers now to practical problems to encourage companies to continue to expand and grow.