Liverpool is “rising up again” says David Cameron as he launches the IFB

Prime Minister David Cameron today hails Liverpool as a city “rising up again” as he arrived to open the city’s two-month long International Festival for Business 2014 (IFB 2014).

He was due to address an audience of hundreds of Britain’s top business leaders at St George’s Hall to launch what has been billed as the biggest business event the country has seen since the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Prime Minister David Cameron launches the IFB

Thousands of delegates and tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend around 250 business events during June and July, most of which will take place around Liverpool and the North West.

Mr Cameron will say:

“One of the things I love about Britain is that we are a nation of geniuses. Almost every invention worth inventing, we’ve had a hand in it. Almost every type of industry there has been, we’ve excelled at it.

“I’m proud that we’ve always been at the centre of the world for enterprise and business; at the top of the tree when it comes to innovation and creativity.”

And in an article published in the Liverpool ECHO, the Prime Minister writes:

“Britain is a proud nation of designers, engineers, inventors and traders, and the International Festival for Business is our shop window.

“From GPS shoes that walk you home, to floors that generate power from footsteps, to the bicycle that Liverpool University hopes will reach 90mph, the festival will show the world’s investors what British business is really made of.

“And there couldn’t be a more fitting host than Liverpool. This is the city that powered Britain through the Industrial Revolution; that pioneered the skyscraper. And today, it is rising up again.

“The city has the fastest growing productivity of any city outside London – poised to become a global hotspot for cutting-edge manufacturing.”

In his speech Mr Cameron also said:

“There’s nothing more important in my long-term economic plan for Britain than making this the most creative country on earth – at the forefront of the latest industry, making things and selling them to the world.

“Let me say a bit about the role I see myself playing in this. Of course, it’s to make sure Britain is the best place in the world to start, finance and grow a business; to make sure we invest in science and skills; to make it easier for people to get their ideas off thedrawing board and onto the factory floor – and we are doing all those things.

“But it’s about more than that. I believe a Prime Minister shouldn’t just lead the country – they should help promote it to the world.

“That’s why I’ve taken trade missions from China to Brazil, from Malaysia to Mexico. It’s why I held the Global Investment Conference at the Olympics. It’s why I held an investment conference in Northern Ireland at the time of the G8 last year; why I’m holding one in Wales at NATO; and why I’ve backed the International Festival for Business in Liverpool from its inception.”

Other speakers at today’s launch include former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, former minister for Merseyside Lord Heseltine, trade and investment minister Lord Livingstone of Parkhead and a host of chief executives of some of the world’s biggest businesses.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said:

“IFB2014 is finally upon us and I couldn’t be more excited with the outlook and prospects ahead of us and the amount of people who will be visiting the city.

“The aim of the Festival was to create the biggest business gathering of 2014 in the UK, bringing the opportunities directly to our shores and our businesses.

“What we have ahead is exactly that: a 50 day high value line-up of events and conferences that will be pivotal for UK businesses, providing them with unprecedented access to global markets. It will also demonstrate that Liverpool, the city region and the wider NorthWest are great business locations and are making significant contributions to economic growth.”

The organisers of the IFB claim firms attending the festival will have access to sales leads worth £1.7bn. The government hopes the IFB will contribute to a doubling of UK exports by 2020 and help generate £100m of additional inward investment by 2019.

Max Steinberg, chairman of IFB, said:

“IFB2014 will put the North West, the UK and indeed Liverpool firmly on the map as a great place to do business. The calibre of events, speakers and locations reflects the greatness of British industry and business and I look forward to witnessing first-hand the wealth of opportunities that the Festival will present.”

Source: Liverpool Vision

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