Foreword by the Prime Minister
The modern world is swept by change. New technologies emerge constantly, new markets are opening up. There are new competitors but also great new opportunities.
Our success depends on how well we exploit our most valuable assets: our knowledge, skills, and creativity. These are the key to designing high-value goods and services and advanced business practices. They are at the heart of a modern, knowledge driven economy.
This new world challenges business to be innovative and creative, to improve performance continuously, to build new alliances and ventures. But it also challenges Government: to create and execute a new approach to industrial policy.
That is the purpose of this White Paper. Old-fashioned state intervention did not and cannot work. But neither does naive reliance on markets.
The Government must promote competition, stimulating enterprise, flexibility and innovation by opening markets. But we must also invest in British capabilities when companies alone cannot: in education, in science and in the creation of a culture of enterprise. And we must promote creative partnerships which help companies: to collaborate for competitive advantage; to promote a long term vision in a world of short term pressures; to benchmark their performance against the best in the world; and to forge alliances with other businesses and with employees. All this is the DTIs role.
We will not meet our objectives overnight. The White Paper creates a policy framework for the next ten years. We must compete more effectively in todays tough markets if we are to prosper in the markets of tomorrow.
In Government, in business, in our universities and throughout society we must do much more to foster a new entrepreneurial spirit: equipping ourselves for the long term, prepared to seize opportunities, committed to constant innovation and enhanced performance. That is the route to commercial success and prosperity for all. We must put the future on Britains side.
The Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, Prime Minister