Our work aims to challenge current performance and develop practical policy solutions to create a stronger Welsh economy.

Currently Wales punches well below its weight in terms of economic performance.

Our proportion of wealth to that of the UK has been at the same level since devolution. In 1999 our GVA (Gross Value Added) per head stood at 72.4%. In 2013 this was 72.2%.

Parts of Wales are among the poorest in Europe – even including newest members from the former Soviet Union. A third of children in Wales live in poverty.

In over 25 years, we’ve carried out extensive research on the Welsh economy and have been at the forefront of some of the biggest economic developments for Wales including making the case for EU Objective 1 status, and the case for the City Region concept and the South Wales Metro, which are now key features of Welsh Government policy.

In each of our main policy areas we’ve set up a group made up of leading Welsh thinkers and doers.

In 2015 this group authored a major report assessing the performance of the Welsh economy since devolution, ‘An economic strategy for Wales?’

The report found that without an ambitious strategy backed up by actions we won’t close the gap between Wales and the rest of the UK. “True catch-up growth means the economy needs to add nearly  £1½ billion of activity, more than the turnover of an Admiral, every year” the report concluded. “That is not going to happen under the current strategy and a marked shift in approach would be needed to have any chance of it”.

Our ongoing work on the Welsh economy is looking at taking forward some of the ideas presented in the report, including ‘Re-energising Wales’, an ambitious three year project which will look to re-energise the Welsh economy by developing Wales’ comparative advantages in renewable energy.

We cannot do work like this without your support. Please consider joining the IWA to ensure that we are able to deliver more work like this.

Featured Economy Work

Re-energising Wales

  By moving to 100% renewables in Wales we can increase energy security, reduce fuel poverty and tackle climate change.     Our Re-energising Wales project is creating a practical plan for Wales to move to 100% renewable energy by 2035. We’re bringing together leading thinkers from industry, academia, government and local communities to find […]

  • IWA is a vital and vitalising organisation within modern Wales.

    Owen Sheers
  • For nearly thirty years the IWA has played an indispensable role
    in the political, economic, intellectual and cultural life of Wales.

    David Marquand
  • The new IWA Wales Media Audit is a brilliant pull-together of things you never knew,
    things you thought you knew and things you once knew but, you know what, you’re out of date.

    Ian Hargreaves CBE
  • I for one hope the very best work still lies ahead, because I think Wales needs it more than ever.

    Stephen Crabb MP