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Peter Ricketts

Ambassador to France from February 2012 to January 2016.

Part of UK in France

2nd October 2012 Paris, France

British innovation and creativity in the motor and fashion industries

I’ve been thinking a lot this last week about innovation and creativity, because we’ve had two major events in Paris which have brought innovative parts of British industry to France. We’ve been able to host both of them in the Residence here.


First of all, the Motor Show in Paris, which is a great gathering of the world’s motor industry, where we had a number of major British companies, and some small innovative  businesses recently started for a meeting here in the Residence.

It maybe reflects on the success that we’ve had in the UK in attracting new investment into the motor industry. A number of Japanese investors increased the size of their plants in the UK, Jaguar and Land Rover have made major investments as well, altogether 6 billion pounds worth of new investment in the last couple of years in the UK, creating jobs and creating the opportunity to export more cars than we import in the UK for the first time for very many years.

If we are going to succeed in regaining industrial strength in our economy, it is successes like that that we need to multiply.

And in a very different sector, it’s also of course been Paris Fashion Week,  and we’ve had here a number of leading British fashion companies, who are at the cutting edge of fashion in the world. We were lucky enough to host in the Residence Vivienne Westwood, for her amazing show and there are a number of pictures on that now on the website.

But fashion is again a major industry in the UK: 20 billion pounds worth of revenue, employing 800,000 people and a world leader to an industry where small companies with creative ideas can start up and make a big impression quickly.

Two very different sorts of industries, both contributing to what we need in the British Economy, which is growth.