The Prime Minister has opened the biggest trade fair in the UK in over 60 years.
Like the Great Exhibition in the 1850s or the Festival of Britain in the 1950s, the International Festival for Business (IFB) is a once in a generation event to showcase the very best of Britain and encourage foreign investors to set up or expand in the UK.
Over 50 days, a quarter of a million people from 80 countries will take part in over 200 events promoting manufacturing, technology, science and more. That’s 6 weeks of deals being done and a predicted potential value of £100 million to the UK economy. See a round-up of coverage from the British Business Embassy, the opening event for the IFB.
The festival will help fulfil our long-term economic plan by boosting investment, backing business and creating jobs. Crucially, it will also help further rebalance the economy, spreading growth in the North as well as the South.
Banging the drum for British business
The Prime Minister told an audience of 250 CEOs why he is again banging the drum for British business.
Read the Prime Minister’s speech to open the IFB.
Before addressing the festival, the Prime Minister was shown around the Port of Liverpool, which is undergoing a huge transformation to become one of the biggest ports in Europe, further boosting inward investment, increasing exports and creating and supporting tens of thousands of jobs.
The IFB is a key part of the government’s ambition to promote economic growth to rebalance the economy, double UK exports by 2020 and further strengthen our position as the lead country for inward investment in Europe.
And while the festival itself is held in Liverpool, it will attract investment into every corner of the UK.
Britain is the most attractive place in Europe to invest
The PM’s speech comes on the back of further positive economic news today:
- another report from Ernst & Young confirms that Britain is the most attractive place in Europe to invest – ahead of Germany and accounting for 20% of all investment projects in Europe
- EEF have also upgraded manufacturing growth forecasts from 2.7% to 3.6% - the highest level for 7 years
The Prime Minister also welcomed a number of jobs being created or safeguarded around the country, with many more expected over the next 50 days. A few of today’s announcements are:
- Volkswagen Financial Services creating 340 jobs in Milton Keynes
- Heineken investing £50 million, safeguarding 240 jobs in Manchester
- Multimatic car manufacturers creating 232 R&D and manufacturing jobs in Coventry and Norfolk
Read more about how we’re growing the UK economy.