EAST of England Minister Barbara Follett has called for continued investment to continue the region's growth following the news that the UK has officially emerged from recession. A GDP increase of 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 pulled the country out of recession, and Mrs Follett believes it will mark the start of a period of recovery. She said: "Even though the growth in our economy is small, it is positive. This is a very hopeful sign and a very real achievement for the United Kingdom's hundreds and thousands of businesses. "The Government expects the economy to continue to grow throughout 2010 and 2011 as credit conditions continue to ease. But, if we want people to get and keep jobs and homes, we must make sure that the investment that has brought us out of recession continues well into the recovery. "Then, and only then, will we, as consumers, employees and employers, have the confidence that is, in itself, so necessary to growth." Richard Ellis chairman of the East of England Development Agency, said: "While we welcome the news that we are finally out of the recession, there is still a long way to go and still a lot of work to do. Recovery will be slow, and the coming months will be tough for some people and businesses. "EEDA is doing everything it can to support businesses large and small to survive and thrive. The East of England is in a good position to ensure long-term growth with strengths in emerging sectors such as digital technologies, life sciences and renewable energy. We are focused on creating new opportunities and improving the economy of the region.