Press release

Mark Carney and Sir Richard Branson talk business

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Commonwealth Games business conference speakers confirmed.

The Governor of the Bank of England and 1 of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs and business magnates are to speak at a high profile business conference in Glasgow, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Mark Carney and Sir Richard Branson will address an audience of more than 200 business CEOs and heads of government at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in July 2014.

Trade within the Commonwealth is estimated at £300 billion a year and the conference will look at how this can be further developed in a way which ensures sustainable growth and gives a business return.

Sessions will focus on issues and opportunities common to all countries, such as employment and skills, infrastructure development, improving financial services for business and the development of the smart cities of the future.

Mark Carney said:

The conference provides an excellent opportunity for business leaders and policymakers from across the Commonwealth to convene and discuss the core challenges facing the global economy. A strong and open dialogue between the official sector and industry serves to enhance our collective ability to meet those challenges.

Sir Richard Branson said:

Before the Commonwealth’s finest athletes showcase the virtues of healthy competition, the conference is a perfect opportunity for companies to meet, network and do business. It will be a chance to tackle major economic challenges, celebrate entrepreneurialism, diversity and achievement, and discuss how the modern Commonwealth can make a positive impact upon the world.

UK Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Livingston said:

The Commonwealth is a ready made business network and includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies. The conference will provide an exceptional platform to promote greater trade across the Commonwealth and the UK as a leading trade and investment destination.

To have business and political leaders including Sir Richard Branson and Mark Carney leading this conversation just before the opening of the Commonwealth Games is a great way to strengthen the business focus around Glasgow 2014 and help build a lasting economic legacy.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said:

I am delighted that both Mark Carney and Sir Richard Branson will be leading the debate bringing their unique vision and expertise to the conference. The Games is the biggest sporting and cultural event Scotland has ever hosted and I am determined that we harness that international interest in economic terms.

This conference will be vital in strengthening our economic links and showcasing the key sectors and industries where Scotland excels. I look forward to welcoming business leaders from across the Commonwealth, generating long-term benefits for Scotland and building a lasting business legacy from the Games.

Notes to editors:

  1. The conference is being organised jointly by UK Trade and Investment, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish government, the UK government and supported by the Commonwealth Business Council. It will be held at the University of Glasgow on 22 and 23 July 2014.

  2. Trade within the Commonwealth is estimated at £300 billion a year, source: UNCOMTRADE 2012.

  3. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

4.UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at