Indeed, with a hole left in the public finances by the serious problems experienced by the financial services industry, exporting businesses are going to be an important part of plugging the gap. Likewise, future employment growth will have to come, not from the public sector, but from an expansion of private business driven by the  export of goods and services.

We have a strong base to build upon. The United Kingdom is still the sixth largest exporter of goods in the world, and second only to the United States in the export of services. Our industry leads the way in fields as diverse as advanced engineering, low carbon industries, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, automotive, defence, security, new media, and the other knowledge based business.

Our economy has been based on much more than just financial services, and this will always be the case. Our report shows that UK business needs to rediscover the mercantile spirit that has driven our wealth in the past, and now drivers other, younger industrial economies.