Good afternoon and welcome to the first Friday Brief of 2023. Happy New Year to you all! We hope you had a wonderful break and are excited to get back to the industry with everything that’s going on this month!
First up this week is an article by Chris Devonshire-Ellis regarding China-Russian relations. Dmitri Medvedev, Russia’s ex-President now serving as the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. The meeting was scheduled for Medvedev to take a personal letter from Russian President Putin to Xi. It’s contents were not disclosed but are likely to have included comments on the ‘unipolar vs multipolar’ world leadership issues, handling the United States, the Ukraine conflict, China’s border skirmishes with India, energy supplies, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS development, and overall trade and security. Chris discusses the issues in the article below.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) are planning to set up a UK pavilion at the IMTEX 2023 in Bengaluru which is scheduled from 19-25 Jan 2023 (British High Commission Hall 1B stand B141) and will be sited next to the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) stand. This is a perfect opportunity for companies trading in the region or a launch pad for companies currently not trading with India to gauge the market for their products. Take a look at the story for more information.
A programme of funding has been launched to help UK organisations gain vital Cyber Essentials Plus certification. The funding will enable organisations to work with Cyber Essentials Certification Bodies to implement baseline security controls, helping to prevent the most common types of cyber attack. Find out more about Cyber Essentials below.
You are invited to join MTC Training for our Employer Breakfast Forum. The MTC Employer Forum is a great opportunity to connect with regional manufacturing businesses and get updates from MTC Training regarding our engineering apprenticeships and training. In our next forum, we are keen to speak with you about the Machining and Mechatronics apprenticeship programmes we will be offering in 2023, following the ongoing changes that have been made by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. Check out the story below to register and find out ore details.
Citation have put together a HR and Health & Safety checklist to help you in the new year. Take a look at the story to find the link to your member benefit.
We have been advised that the UK government has launched a new website to help firms find potential grant support – the relevant links are in the article below.
An update on AMUK has been sent out today with regards to the ongoings of the association. There is lots currently going on and coming up so make sure to check out all the details in the story below.
The main economic news is the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data for the manufacturing sector that was released at the start of this week. In many cases the gloomy news of a negative reading (below 50, implying a contraction in activity) was tempered slightly by the fact that it was less so than in November; however, the UK was a notable exception to this trend with its lowest reading since 2009 if the pandemic months early in 2020 are ignored. Take a look at our article for more details of the trends around the world.
Most of the other economic news this week is a round-up of data that was published just before Christmas, most notably the UK National Accounts for the 3rd quarter. This also made gloomy reading with a downward revision (to -0.3% quarter-on-quarter) coupled with changes to earlier periods which means that the economy is still -0.8% smaller than before the pandemic. There was also disappointment in the non-appearance of the industry level investment data and what was published was also revised down.
In the economic news article, we also cover the CBI Industrial Trends Survey from the end of last year and have details of the CECIMO Toolbox which contains a range of European economic data mainly for the 3rd quarter of 2022. The final element of this is “new” data in the form of our annual look at the UK car market and, in particular, the increasing importance of vehicles with some element of electric power. During 2022, one in every six cars sold in a weak UK market was powered only by batteries and if you add in the various forms of hybrids (including “mild hybrid” vehicles), “electric” cars accounted for over half of the total market.
Finally, the December edition of the MTA Business Survey is underway and you can access the questionnaire at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-dec22. With thanks to those who have replied already, we would ask all MTA members to take a few minutes to let us have your input to this survey which takes a snapshot of the state of the industry. The separate quarterly survey for EIA members is also active and if you are in that part of the family, your survey form is at https://www.mta.org.uk/EIA-survey%20Q4-22.
That concludes the first Friday Brief of the year! Have a great weekend and we’ll ‘see’ you again next week!