Is the UKâs economy fated to fall into insignificance? Are we Brits destined eek out an existence on hand-outs from the European Union? Will Chinaâs burgeoning economy soon suffocate any hope we have for the future? No. Not according to this overtly optimistic documentary fronted by Dragonsâ Denâs Evan Davis.
Davis knows a thing or two about industry; he currently presents Radio 4âs Today programme and previously worked as the BBCâs economics editor from 2001-2008, so heâs well poised to present this three-part series on Britainâs financial future. This opening episode focuses on manufacture and the transitions it has undergone in the past century. From Victorian mills to state-of-the-art sci-fi looking facilities making futuristic pilotless planes. According to Davis the way to excel economically is to âinvest the resources you have in the highest value activity you can, while constantly adapting.â?
While we used to manufacture low-value items at high volumes, weâre now manufacturing high-value items at low volumes. This is how economies evolve, he explains. Evans downplays Chinaâs mass-scale manufacturing saying, âItâs not a sign of Chinaâs strength, more of its limitations.â? And claiming the reason they have taken-up the high-volume manufacturing with such zeal is because âtheyâre not that good at anything else.â? He alleges that we, on the other hand, have expertise other countries apparently cannot possess and assures us manufacturing advancements come through thought, not manual work.
Itâs an interesting programme; he tours some fantastic facilities and interviews many industry leaders. The only problem – and itâs a glaring one – is his complete lack of acknowledgement that our imports outweigh our exports by a staggering Â£30 billion until the final few minutes of the show, thus rendering all his affable optimism relatively redundant. However, this is a three-part series, so itâs fair to assume latter instalments will address this egregious oversight.