Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

How can Europe drive a new industrial revolution?

By CNN wire staff
August 5, 2013 -- Updated 1344 GMT (2144 HKT)
  • The CNN panel -- hosted by Richard Quest -- was split on whether Europe's manufacturing sector was in trouble
  • Panelists agreed that there is a need for better education and less regulation in developed economies
  • Former UK minister Digby Jones said a 'skills-fit-for-purpose' cohort is the only way to take on Asia

London (CNN) -- The UK's role as a global manufacturing center has stumbled as other nations rise -- now Europe must focus on quality and exports to emerging markets to prosper, a CNN Marketplace Europe debate has been told.

Digby Jones, former Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment said high-end, innovative and trusted products would always deliver sales for Europe.

Read more: Model trains and planes motor their way back home

"Whether you're making it in Birmingham or Berlin, whether you're making it in Lyon or London... Europe actually has a very, very good and important place in the 21st century," he said.

Jones, speaking at a panel hosted by CNN's Richard Quest, said Europe needed to target markets such as India and China if it is to survive. He added: "It's all about international competitiveness; it's actually not in a globalized economy about, where you do it."

Read more: Eurostar boss: 'State of the art' fleet set to grow European rail market

The panel -- which also included Roger Carr, chairman-designate of defence company BAE Systems, Lee Hopley, chief economist at the Manufacturers Organisation for UK Manufacturers and Sarah Curran, founder of -- was split on whether Europe's manufacturing center was in trouble.

Hopley told CNN that European manufacturing had been going through a tough time as debt-ridden nations struggle to cope with harsh austerity measures and a regional debt crisis. However, "there are industries such as the aerospace sector which right across Europe has been booming and will continue to so for some time," Hopley added.

Read more: How the skies tell Head if business will be sunny or gloomy

Two of the world's largest aircraft makers, Boeing and Airbus, have both seen an increase in sales. The two have raised production to record levels and last year Boeing said it expects a need for 34,000 aircraft in the next 20 years to meet the demands of India and China.

Roger Carr, chairman of Centrica, was also optimistic for European industry. He said: "No, it's not in trouble. I think it's a question of knowing what you're good at, having the right skill set in place and then exploiting it."

The panel agreed that the only way to develop industry in Europe was to encourage education and less regulation.

Fashion guru Curran said more support is needed for young entrepreneurs in developed economies. She added: "I didn't find that help... I could have done with more help."

While Jones said governments in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy must all "sharpen up" their education systems if future generations are going to get jobs in western economies.

And Jones closed the debate by adding: "Without doubt, providing the wealth creators of western Europe with a 'skills-fit-for-purpose' cohort is the only way to take on Asia."

Part of complete coverage on
Marketplace Europe
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
November 11, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.