At the EEF's manufacturing conference in London the key message was for the UK not to "stand still" in its quest for manufacturing excellence.
In his keynote address, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP, said that Britain "could have and should have" a bigger manufacturing sector, and outlined the Government's initiatives to address concerns in the areas of skills, access to finance and energy.
To coincide with the event, manufacturers' organisation, the EEF, released a survey suggesting that the gradual re-shoring of manufacturing is continuing in the UK, with one in six companies bringing production back to the UK in the last three years.
"The trend may be gradual but it is encouraging to see more re-shoring continuing," commented EEF Chief Executive, Terry Scuoler, adding "it makes incredibly sound and solid business sense to reshore to the UK."
Commenting, Cable said that re-shoring suggested that Britain is "a good place to be and a good place to do manufacturing."
During a panel discussion held earlier in the day, key speakers from industry and manufacturing associations said the benefits of re-shoring production to the UK include "huge opportunities" for companies further down the supply chain.
In terms of the UK's export opportunities, much focus was given to finding similarities with target markets, as well as accessing available help and funding to grow relationships and understand the country being targeted.
Crispin Simon, acting Chief Executive of the UKTI said the UK has a "very strong entrepreneurial culture", is "extremely skills savvy" and "can sell overseas", with huge potential to tap into new and existing markets.
In the day's other keynote address, Ken Clarke MP reflected on the UK economy, stating the UK is experiencing "good growth", but that it is now critical to ensure a "more balanced and strong economy" is built and maintained. He raised the need to break down roadblocks to trade, including duplicates in regulation for different countries, to make the process more beneficial for all.
Clarke reiterated the importance of manufacturing in the UK, concluding: "we should never again take on the belief that manufacturing does not matter...and never again should we let it decline."