Cities account for 64 per cent of all
of Britain’s exports.
The EU is by far the largest export
market for every British city, with
45 per cent of city exports being
sent to the bloc.
Services account for 57 per cent of
all city exports.
6. GLOBAL DEVOLUTION: OUR
People compete, companies
Centre for Cities How do cities
compete, countries compete.
trade with the world, April 2019
That is the world in which we
live. It is impossible to overstate
the importance of our great
cities in allowing us to compete
globally. They played a defining
role in what we are. They must
be equipped to do so again in
carving our future. Essentially,
they must have the power and
resources to build on their
strengths and eradicate their
weaknesses. They must rebuild the culture of enterprise that created
them. They must be free to initiate, experiment and just do things
differently as local circumstances demand. They must dare to excel.
Competitor cities overseas are ahead of the game.
In its recent interim report, Lord Kerslake’s commission concluded
three things. First, in comparison with 30 OECD countries, the UK
was 28th in terms of inter-regional inequalities. Second, the problem
is getting worse despite all attempts to stop it. Third, London is
decoupling from the UK economy. I would add another statistic. In a
recent league table of international education measurements, the UK
ranked 15th in science, 21st in reading and 27th in mathematics²⁵.
Therefore, the next level of context we must examine is global.
Each of the six Metro mayors have to steer their regions through
an increasingly competitive global race with cities and regions
throughout the world. They do so, in a sense, with one arm tied
²⁵ OECD, PISA 2015 Results: Excellence And Equity In Education: Volume I