Migrants’ flow vital for success of UK companies

‘Immigration had a positive effect on London’s economy’

16th March 2010: London business leaders have made it clear that the inflow of foreign workers is important for the success of their companies.

The assertion comes at a time when the general election is just round the corner; and immigration issue is weighing on the voters’ mind.

As per the details of the survey by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry reported by the Financial Times, UK, the majority of London companies asserted that the migrants’ flow into the city was vital for the capital to retain its competitive edge

Two-thirds out of 182 participants in the survey for the London Business Leaders Panel thought immigration had a positive effect on the London economy. In fact, bigger companies had positive views on immigration. As many as 72 per cent of those employing more than 200 said immigration was good for the capital’s prosperity

Despite debate immigration straining public services, more than half of the businesses said economic payback overshadowed the costs. Fifty percent of them felt the movement of workers into the capital during the slump should be restricted, while the other half were at variance.

Seven in 10 companies said the capital would be less spirited without migrant workers. More than 40 per cent of London companies estimated that foreign nationals made up more than 10 per cent of their workforce. That scaled up to 67 per cent of the largest companies.

But, 13 per cent had experienced problems with immigration law, chiefly with system of government, the cost of compliance and a lack of clarity.

The professions were most fervent about immigration. Almost 81 per cent were positive and another 68 per cent of finance and business services leaders were also in favour.

The Chairman of the LCCI’s Asian Business Association, Sunil Gadhia, said without the foreign workers London would be a less competitive and vibrant place and at the same time the country’s economic success would certainly suffer. He added that the London businesses knew first-hand foreign workers brought the much-needed expertise and thoughts to the capital.

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