World business spotlight on city

Doha conference

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has told a global gathering of business leaders that Liverpool is Britain at its best and urged them to visit the city during next year’s International Festival for Business (IFB 2014).

Mayor Anderson told delegates at the World Chambers Congress (WCC) in Doha, Qatar, that Liverpool and its Chamber of Commerce will be the centre of the business world in 2014 when the city hosts the 61-day IFB 2014 on behalf of the UK.

Mayor Anderson spoke at the World Class Cities session at the 8th Annual WCC, alongside political and business leaders from Chicago, USA; Jakarta, Indonesia; Santiago, Chile; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which he headlined.

He said: “In Liverpool we are looking to the future differently. Building enterprise, driving innovation and encouraging ambition are the most effective ways to release human potential and boost our economy.

“For Liverpool and for the UK, the International Festival of Business is about realising the potential of economic recovery. It’s about building business. It’s about creating relationships so that we can make the most of opportunities. It’s about creating success.

“Next summer, Liverpool will be a portal through which the world can discover British business at its best.
“IFB will be an arena where pivotal industries come together to trade ideas, products and contacts, attracting more than 250,000 people from around the world. If there is one place to do business next year, it’s Liverpool, it’s Britain.”

Mayor Anderson also explained to the audience from than 50 countries, including USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, UAE and Qatar that IFB 2014 will also look at the fundamental role cities have in stimulating innovation and driving economic growth in a series of themed events.

The highlight, he said, will be a Global Leaders Summit, debating urban best practice and shaping the global economic future.

In a Question & Answer session after his speech, the Mayor, said that a strong bond with Liverpool Chamber exists which is helping to identify opportunities to work with chambers around the world to grow businesses and promote Liverpool internationally.

Yukki N. Hanafi, Chairman of Jakarta Chamber of Commerce, responded: “We are excited about the IFB and the opportunity to increase trade and investment between UK and Indonesia. Jakarta Chamber of Commerce looks forward to next year’s festival and in the interim working with the Mayor’s office and Liverpool Chamber to plan our participation.”

Liverpool was also complimented on its international strategy by another much closer to home. The CEO of Cork Chamber, Conor Healy, noted the impressive way in which Liverpool projects itself on the world stage.

Mayor Anderson, accompanied by Mayoral Development Corporation board member David Wade-Smith, was the guest at the WCC of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce which is helping Liverpool Vision deliver IFB 2014 with the British Chambers of Commerce and UKTI and other partners.

He added: “The Chamber’s input is truly holistic – before, during and after as export advisors, organising tailored trade visits to 20 key partner chambers in high growth markets, and helping us maximise the festival’s legacy long after the festival finishes.”

The Liverpool Chamber is playing a key part in next year’s International Festival for Business focusing on increasing exports from the UK.

Chief Operating Officer of Liverpool Chamber, Jenny Stewart said: “Our vision is that Liverpool Chamber can be an “export hub” providing vital and practical support for businesses to engage with the world’s high growth emerging markets.”

Liverpool Chamber Chair, John Sutcliffe hosted a dinner at which the Mayor met Michael O’Neill, British Ambassador to Qatar; Gareth O’Brien, UKTI Qatar’s international trade director; Peter Mihok, Chair, ICC World Chambers Federation; and John Longworth, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce.