Britain can learn from French industrial policy

14th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said in an interview published Saturday that Britain could learn a great deal from France in the realm of industrial policy.

LONDON - Mandelson, in an interview with the Financial Times while on a visit to Paris, said France was better at "setting strategic goals and objectives", but insisted he was not addressing "public ownership nor ... centralised planning of business."

"We have something to learn from continental practice without falling into the pitfalls of second-guessing business," Mandelson told the business daily.

"We have not set major infrastructure objectives and then organised our industry and supply chain to deliver them as has been done in France.

"We are quite good at putting the regulatory system in place, but we have always assumed the supply side would take care of itself."

He added: "Not only do we need to do things differently but we need to upscale significantly what we do."

According to the FT, Mandelson is planning trips to Germany, Sweden, Finland and various Asian countries to learn about their industrial policies.

AFP / Expatica

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