But it welcomed the consultation, which will give the government an opportunity to respond to business concerns.
John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: 'Business wants better regional decision making but we do not want another expensive and time consuming talking shop.
'Establishing unitary authorities in areas with an assembly may help address fears about bureaucracy, but other fundamental questions remain unanswered.
'Will assemblies have a real job to do? Will they help prioritise and deliver the strategic transport and development projects that so many regions are desperate for? How can we ensure that the right calibre of people will want to get involved? Will regional development agencies retain the freedom to get on with their job of strengthening the regional economy?
'We will be considering the white paper in detail to see what more the government needs to do to address business concerns.'
The CBI position on regional assemblies follows a major consultation with some 600 businesses across the UK.