The primary agenda for the next Welsh Government needs to be the creation of a carbon neutral ecosystem.

Changes that businesses and individuals have been forced to make over the last year demonstrate how agile and resilient the Welsh economy can be. The climate crisis highlights the need, and these changes offer the opportunity for Wales to develop a cleaner and more green economy.

Innovation should be at the forefront of environmental development in Wales in order to advance the economy to achieve the net zero goal. The government must be prepared to take a firm stance and not continue to fund enterprises that run counter to a green environmental ecosystem, but provide resources to allow businesses to innovate, transform and assure their own futures.

The challenges facing business now are monumental. The global pandemic has forced businesses to examine how and where they work, their supply chains and their markets.

Businesses are faced with a workforce who are fatigued, demotivated, and experiencing mental health issues. Businesses are also struggling with the severe skills gaps in the labour market.

With huge numbers of the workforce now working remotely and 30 per cent expected to continue, there needs to be a conscious effort to ensure our workers are digitally literate. This includes skilling and mentally preparing younger generations for more digital and remote workplaces but also upskilling current workforces to adapt and work productively in new and permanent digital environments.

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Recovery tools and funds must be made accessible to address the current challenges of enterprises and the individuals driving the success of their business.

Wales’ green innovation needs to ensure that businesses can trade in local, national, and international marketplaces with ease and on a parity with other nations. Agile SMEs dominate the business make-up in Wales, and they require intelligence and resources to be able to grow.

The environmental ecosystem will create jobs and provide opportunities for new ventures. Government investment in this initiative will allow for the traditional Welsh industries such as manufacturing to be at the forefront of new global technologies, including the mass rollout of electric vehicles. Seaport sites offer opportunities for green energy development such as offshore wind, wave and solar.

Freight and logistics need to be an important area of focus going forward; the economy and population rely on the fluid and efficient movement of freight. The pandemic has accelerated the growth in online sales of goods and freight and logistics are key to delivering on this.

The flexibility and increased productivity provided by the changes to the way we work create opportunities to redevelop Welsh villages, towns, and cities in a greener way; establishing a network of local working hubs that allow working closer to home and fuel the economic decentralisation of Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.

The pandemic has accelerated reliance on digital connectivity in Wales, from individuals and business, there is a need to focus on digital infrastructure across the country to ensure that remote towns and villages are not left behind.

Remote working will have a major impact on public transport and road infrastructure. There may be reluctance to use public transport post-pandemic due to confidence and safety concerns. The Government need to consider ways to adapt and innovate transport systems to adjust to new patterns of travel.