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Business leaders urge firms to get involved with IFB

Britain’s business leaders today mark the 100-day countdown to the UK’s first International Festival for Business (IFB 2014) at an exclusive showcase hosted by London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Leading figures from institutions including the Confederation of British Industry, London Stock Exchange and UK Trade and Investment are calling on British businesses to make the most of the opportunities presented by the Festival, urging UK firms to get involved.

The event features an all-star panel made up of IFB ambassadors, including CBI Director General John Cridland CBE, Betfair co-founder Ed Wray and angel investor Dale Murray CBE, as well as UKTI chief executive Crispin Simon, London Stock Exchange chief executive Xavier Rolet, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and IFB Chairman Max Steinberg CBE.

Attendees will be given an update on the plans for this year’s biggest business event, with Festival organisers spelling out what delegates can expect from the expo, a year after it was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron MP.

John Cridland CBE, Director General of CBI said: “IFB will be an opportunity for British businesses to see how high they can jump. Its core objective of trying to significantly boost UK exports is also high on the CBI’s agenda.
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“Not only will IFB help promote Brand Britain around the world, it will help ambitious firms make connections that could take UK industry to the next level.”

Ed Wray, co-founder of Betfair and IFB Ambassador, said: “As a British entrepreneur, I wish there had been an IFB when we started Betfair. I expect deals will be signed and connections made that will be life changing for a whole generation of entrepreneurs.
“For young British companies it is a fantastic opportunity for them to identify the strategy and, in particular, the partnerships they need to get where they want to be – it is the perfect platform for them to take their business onto a global stage.”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson OBE said: “Liverpool has transformed its reputation on the national and international stage and hosting the IFB 2014 for the nation is the next step in our development.

“For us, IFB is not something that has happened in isolation but within a wider strategic vision incorporating culture, retail, biotech, energy, tourism, transport and logistics. We look forward greatly to welcoming visitors from across from the globe to Liverpool in June and July.”

The Festival will offer unique opportunities for small, medium and large businesses to make international connections, exchange new ideas, promote their products, create new partnerships and seek new sources of finance.

Hosted by the Liverpool City region, IFB will be a global showcase for great British industry across multiple sectors, and will champion UK businesses to new markets, new products and new partners.

Max Steinberg CBE, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision & IFB Chairman said: “The countdown is well and truly on for IFB and with the festival programme growing each day, this is set to be Britain’s greatest business showcase in more than a generation.”

From established events including as Horasis’s Global India Meeting, the British Business Embassy and Accelerate 2014, through to events such as BT’s Global City Leaders Summit and Africa Rising, the Festival is 50-days worth of world-class events designed to propel UK industry and broadcast the message of Brand Britain.

Sir Michael Rake, Chairman, BT Group plc, said: “BT is part of the fabric of the nation.  We want to celebrate the positive impact of business in society.

“Business creates growth, provides jobs, drives innovation and stimulates investment.  We are proud to be supporting the International Festival for Business, which is a great platform to showcase the best of British to the world.”

Liverpool Waterfront