Rhys David

Writer and Editor

United Kingdom

Writer and editor. Honorary Fellow, Institute of Welsh Affairs, Cardiff. Author of numerous articles and reports on regional economic issues, with particular reference to Wales. Council Member Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (since may 2018), chair Nova Cambria, secretary Cardiff and SE Wales branch, Friends of Welsh National Opera. Formerly staff journalist with Financial Times covering at various times fibres, textiles, clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and aluminium industries. Northern Ireland correspondent 1973-4, and North of England correspondent 1977-1981. Also editor of FT surveys section 1991-2001. Other posts have included associate director of policy forum, Institute of Welsh Affairs, 2001-2007, publisher and managing director Business Magazine, a joint subsidiary of Financial Times and Conde Nast. 1988-1991; and chief leader writer, industrial editor and Welsh Affairs editor, Western Mail, Cardiff. Author, Tell Mum Not to Worry: A Welsh Soldier's World War One in the Near East. (Deffro, 2014). Member 2020 Wales Independence Commission, and author of chapter on Closing the Fiscal Gap.
[email protected]


Wales Economy

Regions: Issue No.268
Wales: Branding

Rhys David looks at the issues surrounding the promotion of a Welsh brand. Journal of the Regional Studies Association. Winter Issue 2007

Institute of Welsh Affairs
The signs we should be reading - Institute of Welsh Affairs

It is the impact of many small decisions that can sometimes give the best overall picture of what is happening to the economy, says Rhys David Straws in the wind indicating the trends that are establishing themselves are difficult to pin down but when enough have settled to cover the bottom of a hamster's cage it is probably worth making the effort to try to assess what is happening.

Institute of Welsh Affairs
Chasing the creative industries - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David says the Welsh Government should get the basics of the Welsh economy in place before hoping for a sector-led revival For the nations and regions of Britain chasing new investment over the past twenty years one sector has been consistently at the top of their wish lists.

Click on Wales
Debt and the Banks

Rhys David says over-indebtedness is more about the way finance is provided than about the behaviour of borrowers

Institute of Welsh Affairs
It's more than bringing back the WDA - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David argues that the Welsh Affairs Select Committee inward investment report fails to understand the lessons of post-war industrial and economic history If Scotland does gain independence it will not be without a portfolio of its own foreign investments - in Wales at any rate.

A Solution for Greece... and Wales?

Rhys David assesses the Greece deal, and ponders whether Wales can draw anything from it. It is good that conifers grow so quickly in the damp climate of Finland, given whole forests must have been cut down over these last six months for newspaper reporters, columnists and leader-writers to opine on the Greek debt crisis.

Confidence needed to shape our future

Rhys David looks at the work to date of the Welsh Government's sector panels "Welsh bio-technology company sold to world's biggest pharmaceuticals giant in multimillion pound deal"; "Material sciences breakthrough from Swansea University labs"; "Anglesey welcomes 50th cruise ship of the year". These are the sort of headlines we might be hoping for from...

Seminal Event or Secular Disaster

Brexit could be a turning-point in more ways than one but much will depend on implementation and what follows, Rhys David suggests. Peak oil, when the maximum rate of extraction, followed by decline, is reached, keeps getting pushed back but does the Brexit vote suggest peak globalisation – the progressive breaking down of barriers to global free trade – has been reached or perhaps faces a significant pause? Economists have been worrying about a slowing down in the process for some...

Institute of Welsh Affairs
The diamond wins again - Institute of Welsh Affairs

A slew of recent announcements tells us much, Rhys David argues, about the way big business operates and its effects on areas at the periphery To the layman, Ford Motor company's announcement that beyond the next 2-3 years it can only see a reduced workload - resulting in possibly 1,000 job losses - for its Bridgend engine factory is puzzling.

Wales Business

Institute of Welsh Affairs
Roaring Dragons: Entrepreneurial Tales from Wales

While Government reports and academic research still point to some reluctance on the part of Welsh people to start their own enterprises, the voice of those who are running important Welsh businesses is rarely heard. Nor, perhaps, is sufficient recognition given that throughout the length and breadth of Wales there are businesses, some going back a hundred years or more, and some of much more recent origin, which are as fast-moving, innovative and enterprising as their rivals in other parts...

Vague aspirations will not work

Rhys David finds the work of the sector panels set up by the Welsh Government to advise on new economic directions disappointing. We would not say it ourselves and we would not have liked our near neighbours to say it but when the New York Times recently described Wales as the Greece of...

Institute of Welsh Affairs
Putting a Tracker on Welsh Business - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David explains how he will be tracking the performance of a group of Welsh companies against the UK economy as a whole. Would the Welsh economy be any more likely to prosper if companies were able to raise money through a local stock exchange that provided opportunities for entrepreneurs to tap local sources of finance and avoid the expense and red tape involved in a listing on one of the London exchanges?

June 18th 2012
The Welsh Cog in World Aeroengines

Mention Nantgarw to Weng Jiabao, the Chinese premier, and his eyes will light up. The second most powerful man in the world’s most populous nation is one of a stream of dignitaries who have visited the giant GE aero-engine maintenance plant near the former mining village close to Cardiff and come away highly impressed. Indeed, on a visit to London several years later he made sure the former Welsh Development Agency chairman, Lord Rowe-Beddoe, received an invitation to one of the occasion's...

Click on Wales
Leipzig to Abercynon

Keith James and Rhys David look back at the life of Henry Kroch, the IWA’s founding chairman and a giant of the post-war industrial scene in Wales

Cardiff and the Valleys

Click on Wales
A monument to the industrial era

Rhys David says a national memorial to those killed in industrial accidents could help draw a line under an iconic era in Welsh history

From Aberdare to Cern

The Swansea-educated director of the Large Hadron Collider project in Geneva has become one of the most identifiable Welsh scientists of his day, writes Rhys David Wales has produced a number of outstanding scientists over recent years, many going on to achieve the prestige of a Fellowship of the Royal Society, but one above all...

Wales Coalfield Bond - Helping Valley Talent

Rhys David explains how the Wales Coalfield Bond launched five years ago has helped talented young people into creative careers Not everyone will have heard of them but Aberdare all-girl band are big in Germany.

City Region Success Demands Co-operation not Rivalry

Rhys David asks whether south-east Wales will follow Manchester in developing a brand that has world-wide resonance In the north west of England ten local authorities, including Bolton, Bury and Stockport - important centres in their own right - are working together to promote the concept of a Manchester city region.

Merthyr's Progress

Rhys David measures the gap between vision and reality in the contemporary development of the first town of the industrial revolution Is Merthyr Tydfil getting there? For those who only know the Welsh borough from its usual ranking at the foot of a range of prosperity and health league tables, the question might hardly seem...

Time to work together

Rivalries in south east Wales are holding back change and need to be buried, Rhys David argues The nature and the scope of the relationship that should prevail between Cardiff and its hinterland is one of the great unresolved issues within the Welsh polity. It involves at one level the physical boundaries of the various...

Institute of Welsh Affairs
Winners and Welsh losers in the benefit cuts - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David reports on an accentuation of the north-south divide driven by Westminster Government's policy Guildford in Surrey and Merthyr Tydfil have something in common. Both are 20 miles or so from their nearest metropolitan centre and contemporary sources of employment - London and Cardiff.


Institute of Welsh Affairs
USA caught in 1950s timewarp - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David finds there is something re-assuring, though quite unexpected, about the service customers receive in America When, it might be asked, did the Americans fall so far behind us in Britain? We are not talking about technological expertise, economic growth, population, or any of the many other areas in which they are still ahead.

Click on Wales
Subtle stirrings in La France Profonde

A regular visitor to France, Rhys David finds much to admire and possibly lessons to learn in the efforts rural areas are making to revive Peter Mayle should probably take some of the blame. Charmed by his 1989 book A Year in Provence , a generation of comfortably-off Britons set out to find their dream rural retreat in La France Profonde.

Click on Wales
Lacerated Ulster

As another crisis threatens to destroy hard-won progress, Rhys David looks back to the resignation of Chief Minister Brian Faulkner in May 1974. Here we go again, or so it would seem. Not for the first time a painfully-constructed power-sharing government in Belfast ends, bringing back memories of the occasion the province had to be returned to direct rule more than 40 years ago.

Wales Language and Society

The Welsh Language Needs a Radical Rethink

Rhys David makes a plea for more radical thinking on how best to fit the language for the modern era There will be a significant number of individuals with a knowledge of Welsh at the start of the next century.

LinkedIn Pulse
A walk on the wild side

Rhys David finds solitude and interesting signs of a new vitality on a trek through the middle of Wales "Of all the beautiful sights in the world, I am not sure if there is anything more lovely than the Welsh hills.

Wales Politics

The Welsh Agenda
Edwina Hart: An Uncertain Legacy

It could be several years before the lasting impact of this long-serving Welsh Cabinet Minister becomes clear

Wales Society

Institute of Welsh Affairs
Riot Reflections 2: Big may not be so beautiful after all - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David suggests there are lessons for Cardiff's development to be learned from the English riots The Greeks had a word for it, hubris. It seems a long time ago but it is only last month that Boris Johnson, mayor of London, was talking of the people of London being ready to welcome the world's finest athletes to the greatest games that had ever been held, in the greatest city on Earth.

Agenda, the Journal of the IWA
Schooling outside the Mainstream

Rhys David reports on an alternative to the classroom for excluded children that is proving a success in Caerphilly.

Institute of Welsh Affairs
Magnate turns gold into lead - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David believes the consequences of the News of the World scandal for the Murdoch empire will be more profound than those currently exciting most interest The Assyrians, the Medes and Persians, the Romans, the Spanish, the British, the Russians and now the Murdochs...

World War One

Western Mail
Wales and the Gallipoli Evacuation: 100 Years Later

One hundred years ago this month Welsh troops were being evacuated from Gallipoli after the failure of the ill-fated campaign to open up the a passage to Russia through the Black Sea. Rhys David reports

Institute of Welsh Affairs
Wales's Forgotten World War One Warriors - Institute of Welsh Affairs

Rhys David tells of the Welsh Division who played a role in world war one in the Near East. The World War One exploits of the 38 th (Welsh) Division in France - and especially their heroism in the battle at Mametz Wood are well-known and deservedly commemorated.

The Gallipolian
An Unusual Swimming Race

The first anniversary of the landings by troops of the 53rd (Welsh) Division at Suvla Bay on Gallipoli in August 1915 was commemorated a year later with a race organised by officers across the Suez Canal.

The Welsh Agenda
Local Lads, Distant Vistas

Toby Thacker on a new book by Rhys David recounting the experiences of Welsh soldiers in the Near East in World War One.