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Title: Striving towards competitive advantage : the position of Wales within the global economy
Author: Taylor, R. I.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2004
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The thesis examines the Welsh economy from the latter decades of the 20th century to the present day. In comparison with other UK and EU regions, Wales’ economic performance has been disappointing. This raises the question of whether the economic strategy of attracting foreign direct investors has been appropriate. The author undertook a SWOT analysis of the Welsh economy in the hope of identifying policies that could build upon Wales’ strengths, eliminate weaknesses and exploit opportunities. This was undertaken by applying M.E. Porter’s framework of the “economic diamond of growth” to the economy. Results showed that the “diamond” within Wales is weak. Moreover, since the economy is dominated by the manufacturing, and the public sectors, any future improvement has to be sought from the manufacturing sector. The thesis argues that Wales, without a capital legacy from its industrial past, still finds itself reliant of foreign owned capital. However, multinational enterprises rely on efficient supply chains as a means of maintaining competitive positions; these in turn, are influenced by clustering activities. By developing the Nilssen model on generic types of production, the author argues that Wales needs to focus on the production of high value added products requiring R&D, skilled labour, and are sold in high income markets. Detailed market research undertaken by the author shows that Wales has two strong, and two embryonic clusters, automotive and electronics, and opto electronics and biotechnology respectively, that need nurturing. By applying research data to the Kearney prognosis model, the authors is able to suggest which automotive branch plants are likely to remain viable in the immediate future. This could be a potentially useful accessory to a grant-giving agency. This thesis concludes by outlining a number of recommendations aimed at improving Welsh economic performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available