Business secretary says that Britain's future prosperity depends on being open to the investment, ideas, talent and visitors of economic superpowers such as China
Vince Cable: Britain must be more welcoming to foreigners to attract new wealth
11 February 2013
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable has said in an article in the Daily Telegraph that Britain cannot afford to miss out on wealthy immigrants and tourists deterred by red tape.
In his article, Cables says that Britain's future prosperity depends on being open to the investment, ideas, talent and visitors of economic superpowers such as China.
Cable writes: "if we are serious about trading more with countries such as China, then we must make sure our borders are as open as possible to genuine tourism, business visitors, investment and trade."
According to Vince Cable, Britain's share of Chinese visitors, compared to continental Europe, has been dropping in the past 5 years, with anecdotal evidence of people saying the UK visa system is unfriendly and inflexible.
Cable concludes: "Immigration is an emotional subject and it is important that the public is reassured that it is under control. But the administration of it has to be business-like, supportive of economic growth and welcoming to genuine visitors."
However, the Home Office published a press release in January saying that the UK is open for business and tourism and China is one of the UK's priority markets.
According to the Home Office, the UK has seen continual growth in visitor numbers from China, with the vast majority of those who apply not only getting a visa, but speaking highly of the service they receive when they do.