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Lord Digby Jones: “Don’t go back to your old ways”

In a web TV show with Vodafone’s Rob Shardlow earlier this week, Lord Digby Jones admitted 2009 had been an "annus horribilis" for everyone involved.

"Politicians will proclaim, ‘We’re out of the recession! Everything’s fine!’ – but it’s not," said Lord Digby Jones. "This is still a very difficult business environment. The best message for businesses right now is that things aren’t going to get any worse. In 2011, and certainly in 2012, we’ll see good quality growth. But I’d be amazed if this economy delivered more than 1.5 to 2 per cent growth in GDP this year."

And, as usual, the ex-CBI head (who famously described his time as a junior minister as "one of the most dehumanising and depersonalising experiences anyone could have") came out with some business gems. Here’s our favourites:

* "Yes, banks are lending money – but they’re attaching so many conditions to it that they might as well not be lending at all. “

* "Always praise in public. Always tell people off in private.”

* “China wants your lunch. India wants your dinner. Entrepreneurs must constantly reinvent.”

* "Is this a good time to start a business” Definitely, yes. But don’t do it if a) you just want to make money out of it or b) your family doesn’t support you because you’ll be divorced by the end of it and all the cash you have made will be spent on that.”Real Business posed its own question to Lord Digby Jones: "Which high-growth, innovative sectors will you be backing in Britain for 2010?" Listen to his answer here (at 26:40).

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