Cameron told the World Economic Forum in Davos: “In recent years there has been a practice of offshoring where companies move production facilities to low cost countries. We’ve all seen it. We all know it’s true. And it will continue.
“But there is now an opportunity for the reverse: there is now an opportunity for some of those jobs to come back.”
More than one in 10 small and medium firms had brought some production back to Britain in the past year, he said.
“From food processing to fashion, from cars to computer-makers. It’s not just one sector; it’s across all sectors of the economy.
“The food manufacturer Symingtons is moving its factory from China to Leeds. Hornby the model train manufacturer is bringing some of its manufacturing from India to Britain. Raspberry Pi computers have shipped production to Wales. A company I visited yesterday morning – Vent Axia – has shipped jobs from China to Crawley.”
A shorter supply chain allows businesses to react more quickly to consumer demands, he added.
The speech coincides with the launch of Reshore UK, a joint campaign by UKTI and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to assist UK businesses in bringing production back to the country.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said the partnership would help British industry continue to succeed.
He said: “British industry is coming home. Over the last few months I have welcomed many companies who have taken manufacturing, textiles, call centre work or software abroad, bringing jobs back to the UK. This is a sign that diverse, high-quality British manufacturing is on the rise once again.
“It also highlights the ability of British-based business to stand strong in the face of global competition.”
The message was welcomed by business groups.
John Cridland, CBI director-general, said: “The EU must focus on growth and competitiveness to help re-shore jobs and activities back to the UK and Continent.
“The benefits of EU membership to the British economy far outweigh the costs but if it were to become more outward-looking, strengthen the Single Market and take a fresh approach to regulation to ensure it supports, rather than obstructs firms, it could create real opportunities for bringing more jobs back.”
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