Confidence high among North East firms

Confidence high among North East firms

Business confidence amongst the North East’s chemical-processing sector remains high, according to a new survey

Industry body NEPIC surveyed its 300-plus member companies, comprising of major North East manufacturers, downstream producers and supply chain organisations, and four fifths reported a high level of optimism.

They cited as reasons for the optimism the winning of new domestic orders and the development of new products and services.

They said that retaining talented staff remains the biggest challenge for local companies, coupled with intense competition from emerging markets.

NEPIC chief executive Iain Wright said: “It is highly encouraging that the North East’s chemical-processing sector is reporting a positive business outlook, with recent investments in the region by some of our multinationals, such as Sabic and Fujifilm Diosynth Technologies, acting as a catalyst for this confidence. 

“Firms in the region are clearly shrugging off the uncertainties surrounding Brexit and are gearing up to grow by winning new orders in the UK, as well as improving and refining their goods and services to customers. This is really positive and shows the inherent strength of the North East as a great place to do business.

“North East firms produce great goods and services that have demand all over the world. We would encourage firms, with our support, to look to overseas markets as a lucrative source of new markets for their products and future wealth creation.

“Highlighted challenges, notably firms’ concerns surrounding their ability to retain and recruit suitable talent for their growth plans to reinforce the importance of close co-operation between industry and government and the roll-out of a proper Industry Strategy that benefits firms in the North East.”

NEPIC is a membership organisation working with the chemical-using industries in the North East of England.

The region is home to the chemistry-using industries of chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biofuels and renewable energy and low carbon materials. There are more than 1,400 companies directly involved or in the supply chain of these industries, generating £26 billion of annual sales.