Transport, productivity, maritime and Brexit top the bill in week two of the International Business Festival

Global event being held at Exhibition Centre Liverpool until June 28 is expected to attracted 27,000 visitors and more than 150 delegations from across the world. Tony McDonough reports

International Business Festival
Delegates at the International Business Festival at Exhibition Centre Liverpool. Picture by McCoy Wynne / International Business Festival


Transport, manufacturing, maritime & logistics  and Brexit all take centre stage in the next few days as the second week of Liverpool’s International Business Festival gets under way.

The festival, being held at Exhibition Centre Liverpool, started on June 12 and runs until June 28. It is expected to attracted 27,000 visitors and more than 150 delegations from across the world.

Festival held in 2014 and 2016 generated an extra £600m in new business for UK firms and organisers say their target this year is to push that total past the £1bn mark.

High profile speakers last week included CBI director general Carolyn Faibairn, who urged  more companies to start trading overseas; former Minister for Merseyside Lord Heseltine who said said the UK’s education system was a ‘disgrace’; and the festival cultural director Jude Kelly who said the skills and talents of women were too often being ignored or under-utilised, holding back our economy.

On Tuesday, June 19, the theme will ‘Future Transport’ with the question being posed: “As the world becomes better connected, should we move away from cities? How will China’s reimagination of the ‘Silk Road’ affect global commerce?” Speakers on the day will include Alex Cruz, chairman and chief executive of British Airways.

Manufacturing is top of the agenda on Wednesday with questions such as why UK productivity remains stubbornly low and examining why business needs to be a force for good in the world. Speakers include Simon Jack, business editor of the BBC.

Global logistics and shipping is the topic of the day in Thursday with the International Maritime Forum taking place at the festival. Speakers at that event include Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, the voice of Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime sector.

The thorny and all-encompassing issue of Brexit will also be tackled on Thursday and Gina Miller, one of the UK’s most prominent Brexit sceptics will be coming to Liverpool to offer her latest perspective on unfolding events.

Click here for more information on the full festival programme

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