“My lords, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Thank you for inviting me to speak at this important event.
As a motor racing man, and as a car man, but above all as a businessman, I am very concerned about the debate in this country over the need to rebalance our economy and reinvigorate our shrunken manufacturing base.
To my mind, this debate is long overdue - 20 years overdue, probably.
From the early 1990s onwards, the UK has focused ever more obsessively on financial services - to the neglect of its manufacturing.
Policy-makers, opinion-formers, market-makers and pundits prized financial engineering, not real engineering.
That wrong turning was at least partly the cause of the financial crisis and economic downturn of 2009, and the legacy of colossal debt that we are still struggling to manage.
Moreover, a generation of graduates aspired only to climb onto the City bandwagon and make their fortunes.
In the face of this, very few sectors of manufacturing and engineering in Britain managed to hold their own, let alone grow.
Meanwhile, in Japan, companies such as Toyota, supported by Government policy, have continued aggressively to reinvest in research and development.
In 2009, for example, Toyota topped the car manufacturers' global R&D league table with an annual R&D investment of £6.4 billion - a 7.6% increase on the previous year.
By contrast, the gross expenditure on R&D in the UK in 2008 was, as a proportion of GDP, just 1.8%.