Liverpool city region maritime firms take up key role in UK’s post-Brexit strategy

Senior officials from the Foreign Office, the Department for International Trade and the Department for Transport attended a Maritime UK/Mersey Maritime high level summit in Birkenhead. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool city region maritime firms are influencing the UK’s post-Brexit strategy


Liverpool city region’s powerhouse maritime sector is now taking a lead role in shaping the UK’s post-Brexit maritime trade and investment landscape.

Merseyside’s maritime sector is now worth almost £4bn a year and goes well beyond just shipping – taking in areas such as ports, business services, engineering and leisure marine.

It represents one of the most powerful business clusters in the UK and this is now being recognised by Government as it looks to take Britain forward into a post-Brexit world.

Major summit

This month industry body Mersey Maritime hosted, along with Maritime UK, a summit at its Mersey Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead attended by industry heavyweights as well as senior officials from the Foreign Office, the Department for International Trade and the Department for Transport.

It is one of three Maritime Export & Investment Forums to be held annually and the first one to have been held outside London.

The Forum brings together new and experienced exporters offering UK maritime products and services to customers across the world and those looking for investment in infrastructure projects such as at our ports.

Industry and Government discussed opportunities in key maritime target markets including China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, among others.

Clear strategy

With Britain’s departure from the EU now just little more than a year away the need to formulate a clear international trade strategy is now a matter of huge importance and Liverpool city region firms are now being heard by the key decision-makers.

Ben Murray of Maritime UK said: “Maritime is critical to future UK trade in two key ways. Firstly, the sector is responsible for facilitating 95% of our international trade, totalling some £500bn each year.

“Secondly, the maritime sector exports its own innovative maritime products and services. The UK is the world’s maritime centre, and we want to partner with maritime nations across the world to help them meet their own aspirations. The forum is about matching UK expertise with these opportunities.”

Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke at the Maritime Knowledge Hub


‘Cluster exemplar’

Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, said: “Liverpool city region is now seen as a cluster exemplar for the maritime sector both nationally and globally and it is only right that our influence reflects that.

On both banks of the Mersey we have world-beating expertise – from famous shipyard and engineering business Cammell Laird and offshore wind giant Orsted on the Wirral side, to the £400m LIverpool2 container terminal on the other side.

These are the kinds of business that are going to shape the UK’s export and industrial strategy so it makes sense for those in the upper echelons of Government to ask for our input.”

 The event also offered the opportunity for Mersey Maritime members to learn about the export and investment support provided by Government and with the rest of the UK maritime sector, shape future activity and support.


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