E Competitive markets

The framework within which businesses, consumers and employees interact is central to productivity and competitiveness. The framework sets out the rights and responsibilities of participants and gives parties the confidence to interact. It ensures that contracts are fulfilled, that consumers have rights of redress, that intellectual property is safeguarded, that workers have minimum rights and that managers have the incentives to behave with probity. Weaknesses in the framework undermine confidence and make it more costly for firms to generate productivity gains.

              Competition an open economy with strong domestic and
            foreign competition in UK markets helps spread best practice
            and improves efficiency.  It also encourages the development
            of new products and  processes. 

               The labour market modern, fast changing economies need
            flexible efficient labour markets in order to respond to changing
            circumstances and to make the best of new opportunities. 
They also need to offer appropriate worker protection.

              Institutional and political environment business
           confidence and the willingness to invest is affected by the
           institutional and legal framework, and the efficiency of the
           regulatory system.  The latter is also particularly important for
           consumer confidence.



Last updated on 20 November 2003