Press release

PM announces new Business Ambassadors

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

To champion British business overseas, the Prime Minister creates new Business Ambassadors.

On a visit to China the Prime Minister reinforced his commitment to international trade by announcing the Coalition Government’s new Business Ambassadors.

The appointees, who together have a wealth of business experience and knowledge gained from a series of sectors and geographical markets, will join the Prime Minister and the Coalition Government in promoting the UK’s excellence in overseas markets. They will also assist UK businesses to recognise and exploit business opportunities. 

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

I am delighted that some of the most experienced and successful people from business and our universities are working with us. Their knowledge, skill and dedication to British business will play a role in opening markets, increasing trade and encouraging investment.

To secure sustainable growth and to create jobs and future prosperity it is of critical importance that we do everything we can to demonstrate that the British economy is open for business. That is why we have placed international trade at the heart of our foreign policy, and why I am determined to pursue with zeal every opportunity to further British business success.

Our Business Ambassadors will be at the forefront of this, there can be no better champion for British business than them.

Accompanying the Prime Minister during his visit to China, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Sir Andrew Cahn said:

The Business Ambassador Network has already provided tremendous impetus to the UK’s trade and investment activities. It has helped to raise UK plc’s profile globally in response to the recent economic challenges.

Since the network’s creation in October 2008, Business Ambassadors have encouraged UK companies to explore overseas business opportunities through over 100 events in more than 30 countries. They have been instrumental in securing many inward investment projects and have burnished the UK’s business reputation overseas. I am confident that the network will continue to flourish from strength to strength.

The Business Ambassadors are:

  • Sir Anthony Bamford - JCB
  • Malcolm Brinded - Royal Dutch Shell
  • Richard Lambert - CBI
  • Chris Patten - Chancellor University Oxford
  • Alan Parker - Brunswick
  • David Brewer - Former LM of London/Chair China British Business Council
  • Lord Charles Powell
  • Bob Wigley - Yell
  • Baroness Sarah Hogg - Financial Reporting Council
  • Hermann Hauser - Amadeus capital Partners
  • Caroline Plumb - Freshminds
  • Anya Hindmarch  - Anya Hindmarch
  • Nick Fry - Mercedes
  • David Reid - Tesco
  • Tamara Mellon - Jimmy Choo
  • Brent Hoberman - Lastminute.com
  • Sir Roger Bone - Boeing UK 
  • Lord John Browne - Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Lady Barbara Thomas Judge - Pension Protection Fund
  • Lord Ara Darzi - Imperial College London
  • Malcolm Grant - President & Provost UCL 
  • Julia King - VC Aston University
  • Sir Kevin Smith - GKN
  • Sir John Sorrell - The Sorrell Foundation
  • Marcus Agius - Barclays
  • Sir John Bond - Vodafone
  • Dick Olver - BAEs
  • Lord Digby Jones - HSBC/Triumph
  • Sir Victor Blank - Formerly Lloyds
  • Samir Brikho - AMEC
  • Paul Skinner - Infrastructure UK
  • Larry Hirst - Ex - IBM

In more specific terms, Business Ambassadors will:

  • When travelling on business, carry out priority meetings at the request of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), for example lobbying to remove barriers to market access or leading events for SMEs;
  • Undertake dedicated overseas visits or lead missions in agreement with UKTI;
  • Brief UK Ministers and Ambassadors on business priorities and interests as they might arise;
  • Meet overseas Ministers and inward missions;
  • Provide insights into how UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) can best for business;
  • Contribute to Government-to-Government dialogues with China, India, Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, Eastern Europe and other markets.

Media contacts:

For more information about the Business Ambassador programme please contact Rosetta Buahin in the UKTI press office at rosetta.buahin@ukti.gsi.gov.uk or on  0207 215 8530. 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Business Ambassadors Network was created in October 2008, with a particular focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which sometimes face greater barriers to accessing global markets than larger businesses. The roles are unpaid. 
  2. Guidelines have been put in place to avoid conflicts of interest.  Business Ambassadors will be required to discuss with the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Chief Executive and the BIS Permanent Secretary any potential conflicts in advance of carrying out specific activity as a Business Ambassador. 
  3. Business Ambassadors are supported in their role by a dedicated secretariat in UKTI.  The secretariat works closely with Business Ambassadors to ensure maximum benefit for UK PLC from their input and to ensure that processes are in place which guard against conflicts of interest and protect confidentiality.
  4. Sixteen of the Business Ambassadors also served in the Network under the last Government, including Sir Roger Bone, Lord John Browne, Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, Lord Ara Darzi, Malcolm Grant, Julia King, Sir Kevin Smith, Sir John Sorrell, Marcus Agius, Sir John Bond, Dick Olver, Lord Digby Jones, Sir Victor Blank, Samir Brikho, Paul Skinner and Larry Hirst.
  5. UKTI will review the scheme and the contribution of the Business Ambassadors on an ongoing basis.
  6. UK Trade & 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 http://www.ukti.gov.uk/ or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media. You can also keep in touch with developments at UKTI through http://www.blog.ukti.gov.uk/, www.twitter.com/ukti and www.flickr.com/photos/tags/ukti.