Globalisation brings new challenges to the UK economy. For the past few decades, growth has been driven by consumer spending and housing. Now, however, prices for essential imports like energy and raw materials are rising as global demand increases, and other countries are becoming increasingly good at making things traditionally produced in the UK.
If the UK is to continue to enjoy relatively robust economic growth, it must become more competitive or find new goods and services to export to pay its way.
One of the consequences of the move in the terms of trade against the UK is that we will have to export much more and to places much further away to pay for our essential imports. Cebr analysis shows that exports, which were 31.4 per cent of GDP in 2012, will virtually have to double as a share of GDP to around 60 per cent by 2050.
In his latest Gresham Lecture, Professor Douglas McWilliams, Executive Chairman of Cebr, explains the likely scale of these shifts and puts them into international context. The lecture also examines some of the consequences of a much higher ratio of traded exports to GDP than has traditionally been the case.