The Mayor of Liverpool has warmly welcomed the news that the International Festival for Business (IFB 2014) is to return to the city in two years’ time following its exceptional inaugural year.
The announcement was made by the Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, during a keynote speech at one of the festival’s key events, the Santander SME summit at the Cunard Building on the city’s historic waterfront.
In his announcement the Chancellor said: “When I travel round the world meeting foreign governments and investors I am selling Britain as a brand and events like this International Festival for Business make that job easier. It’s a shop window for global markets and a reminder that we can be proud of the stamp that reads ‘Made in Britain’.
“So today I am backing this initiative, committing the funding requested by the Mayor [of Liverpool] Joe Anderson and Liverpool city council for another festival here in Liverpool in 2016.”
He added: “I will work with you all of you here to put on event that is even bigger and even better in two years’ time, so we can continue to put Britain, this great city of Liverpool and our inspirational small businesses out in the front.”
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “As we reach the half way stage of what has already been an inspiring and diverse programme of superb business events, I am delighted that its impact has been seen by government and that they have chosen Liverpool to reprise the international festival for business in 2016.
“A country like the UK that is looking to increase its exports should be holding an event like this on a regular basis.
“I am proud that Liverpool has been able to provide a wonderful platform for the UK to showcase the best of business and industry. It is truly a reflection of how far the city has come, the extent of our ambition and the fact that Liverpool is open for business.
“We have demonstrated our business credentials, developed an extensive worldwide address book of key contacts and the feedback we have received from businesses and organisations has been hugely positive.
“This year’s festival has been no mean feat and my team at Liverpool Vision have risen to the challenge and I know we have the expertise to do it again.”
The International Festival for Business 2014 is half way through a 50-day programme which is being hosted in Liverpool and throughout the city region on behalf of the UK.
It is the first festival of its kind in the UK and is the largest global showcase for great British industry across multiple sectors for more than 60 years.
Comprising more than 300 high value business events, the festival is a key part of the government’s ambition to promote economic growth, rebalance the economy and double UK exports by 2020.
Backed by UK government, IFB 2014 is casting a light on the spheres of commercial endeavour that are transforming the new economies and business landscapes of Britain and beyond.
Max Steinberg, chair of IFB 2014, said: “I believe the festival is achieving our objectives of shining a light on the spheres of commercial endeavour that are transforming the new economies and business landscapes of Britain and beyond.
“Deals are being done, relationships are being made, visitors have thoroughly enjoyed their experience of the city and organisations are wanting to come back. International participation in this year’s festival has indicated that there will be further interest in coming to the city in 2016 and being part of the continuing worldwide economic recovery.”