French trade delegation visits Liverpool City Region

The French Ambassador to the UK, HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, and the Deputy President of the French Chamber of Great Britain and Stephen Burgin, Vice President Europe, GE Power Strategic Accounts, led delegation of French Chamber member companies to Liverpool City Region on 15 September 2016 which was welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Roz Gladden.  Jointly organised by the French Chamber of Great Britain and Liverpool Vision, the trip was sponsored by PwC and Swinton Insurance.

The delegation met local authorities at the highest level with the aim of fostering relationships and finding out more about the opportunities that Liverpool City Region offers to businesses. The companies represented include ENGIE, JCDecaux, Eptica and Veolia among others.

Some of these companies already have a presence or are involved in projects in Liverpool, whereas others are interested in meeting the local authorities to further explore opportunities.

The day’s programme, which was put together by the Invest Liverpool team at Liverpool Vision, began with a courtesy call to Councillor Roz Gladden, Lord Mayor of Liverpool, at the Town Hall. The delegation then moved on to the Liverpool Vision offices for presentations on where the Liverpool City Region stands, in terms of economy, current partnerships and governance, and how to do business in the region.

The delegation was then transferred through the Mersey Tunnel to meet with Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council, and the Combined Authority lead on Economic Development.  This visit encompassed presentations and discussions on the Mersey Waters development, and a discussion around the role of the Combined Authority in Liverpool City Region. Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Major of Liverpool, accompanied the delegation for a lunch with French companies already established in Liverpool City Region.

In the afternoon, the delegation toured the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter, one of Europe’s leading Innovation Districts. Home to University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and The Royal Hospital, these partners are collaborating with Liverpool City Council and Hope Street Community Interest Company, to bring forward key strategic development sites, new transport infrastructure, including a new train station, as well as public realm and green spaces.

The day concluded with a visit to The Beatles Story, the world’s largest permanent exhibition devoted to The Beatles and a private viewing of the Francis Bacon exhibition at the Tate Modern.

This trip to Liverpool City Region followed very successful trade delegations to Birmingham in 2011, Leeds in 2012, Scotland in 2013 and Manchester in 2015, and forms part of the French Chamber’s strategy of developing relationships and business opportunities, not only in London but also on a countrywide basis, to help forge mutually beneficial links.

Stephen Burgin, Deputy President of the French Chamber of Great Britain and Vice President Europe, GE Power Strategic Accounts said:

“Liverpool is a great city that offers plenty of opportunity. The welcome that the French Chamber delegation received was fantastic, showing just how friendly and open the city and its people are.

The delegation was a success and we look forward to working more closely with the city Liverpool in the future. Our thanks go to Liverpool Vision for organising the trade delegation, and to HE Ms Sylvie Bermann, the French Ambassador, for leading the group of Franco-British business leaders.”

Ellen Cutler, director of Invest Liverpool, said:

“We were delighted to welcome the French Ambassador and this important delegation to the Liverpool City Region. The region has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with France and we’re very pleased to be strengthening our strong economic ties. We look forward to continuing to explore opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships that will capitalise on existing synergies and open up new avenues for trade and cultural exchange.”

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