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PM's call for business to 're-shore' in the UK

David Cameron will use a speech to lure business back to the UK, reversing the trend of "offshoring" - where businesses relocate manufacturing and customer service to countries where overall costs are cheaper.

David Cameron
Businesses should look the UK for a manufacturing base, David Cameron will say. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister is hoping cheap energy from shale gas and a pro-business regulatory climate could be the key to persuading firms to move "re-shore" back to the UK.

In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the PM will say companies are most likely to continue to house production in India and China, but argue the West should not be "written off".

According to Government figures, some 1,500 manufacturing jobs have already come back to the UK since 2011, and Business Secretary Vince Cable was today launching a new service called Reshore UK to help firms which want to do the same.

Read more: UK triple-dip recession looms

Read more: Tonight: Is Britain Back In Business?

Survey: Manufacturers expecting growth in 2014

Manufacturers expect an improved outlook this year which should lead to growth in exports and more investment in jobs, according to a new report.

A fifth of manufacturing firms surveyed said they planned 'significant' investment in 2014
A fifth of manufacturing firms surveyed said they planned 'significant' investment in 2014 Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A survey of 200 senior executives by EEF, the manufacturers' organisation and Aldermore Bank found a more positive outlook than the muted picture of a year ago, with growth expected in all markets and across all sectors and sizes of companies.

Two fifths of companies said they plan to invest in the UK, with a further fifth saying their investment would be significant.

EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: "Manufacturers are telling us they expect to make a greater contribution to growth, investment and jobs this year".

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New trains to be built in UK will reduce journey times

A £1.2 billion contract for new 140mph trains that will reduce journey times on key routes has been announced by the Government.

File photo of a passenger waiting for a train from London. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

A total of 270 carriages will be manufactured in Britain as part of the Government's £5.8 billion Intercity Express Programme and the trains will be operational on the East Coast Main Line from 2019.

Capacity will be boosted by 18%, improving train reliability, and journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh cut by up to 18 minutes.

The plan is a boost for Hitachi Rail Europe's manufacturing facility in County Durham with 730 jobs set to be created by the order.

Report: UK outsources large chunk of carbon emissions

The growing import of goods from abroad instead of manufacturing them here has fuelled an increase in carbon emissions, according to the government's climate change advisers.

A container ship arrives at the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk
A container ship arrives at the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Official figures show that Britain's carbon emissions have fallen by around 20% over the last two decades, partly as a result of manufacturing moving overseas. But this data does not include the emissions produced in the making and transportation of goods we import to the UK.

The Committee on Climate Change report found that when emissions 'embedded' in the goods we consume are taken into account, there has actually been a 10% rise since 1993.

The report concludes that official figures should continue to track only the emissions produced within UK borders since this is what other countries do, but that imports should also be monitored.

Read more about Britain's dwindling manufacturing sector here.

Mixed results for UK manufacturing and exports

The UK's hopes of avoiding a return to recession remain in the balance after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released mixed figures on manufacturing and exports.

A general view of Southampton Docks as  the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released mixed figures on manufacturing and exports.
A general view of Southampton Docks as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released mixed figures on manufacturing and exports. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Economists were cheered by a month-on-month improvement of 0.8% in factory output for February, reversing some of the 1.9% slide in January.

But separate figures from the ONS also showed a widening in the UK's trade deficit, largely due to a 1.1% fall in exports amid weaker demand from the beleaguered eurozone.

The UK will duck its third recession since the start of the financial crisis if GDP figures on 25th April avoid a second quarter in a row of contraction.

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'Manufacturing is key' to getting Britain out of dowturn

The government is ignoring manufacturing by focusing its efforts on finance, according to Jane Robinson - a business development director in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

She says the laser cutting and engraving business she works for, Cutting Technologies, struggled in last few months of last year, but that diversifying enabled them to stay afloat.

She spoke to ITV News about the importance of "making things" in the UK:

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