UKTI are major participants at the International Festival of Business (IFB) in Liverpool because of that one simple word - International.
This is the biggest festival celebrating international business since the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the lure of rubbing shoulders with thousands of visitors from dozens of countries was too much for me to resist.
We hosted the major opening event with our British Business Embassy on June 9, which is being followed by eight sector focused days and eight market days, a day working with Medium Sized Businesses and conferences on Aid Funded Business and Undersea Technology.
We are bringing UKTI people from all over the world to make business connections and providing a state of the art business matching service for IFB delegates, along with a package of support to help each and every one of them to prosper in overseas markets.
UKTI will be hosting events throughout the festival and UKTI North East took the lead on a special Benelux Day on June 19, where delegates found out about the many opportunities available in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, you can find out more at ifb2014.com/UK-Trade--Investment-Benelux-Day-e24.html
And there will be International Trade Advisers on hand in the Hub throughout the festival to offer their support.
This all matters because international business matters.
Exporting firms are 34% more productive, 75% more innovative, spend three times as much on R&D and are 12% more resilient than those who don’t export.
Prosperity for the North East and the North in general will be driven by getting more businesses to begin exporting and encouraging those that are already exporting to get into new high growth emerging markets.
If every company that exports now were to enter one new market the effect on the total exports from the region would be dramatic, possibly growing it by £2bn.
That is why we are putting on so many events and providing networking opportunities for so many businesses all coming together in Liverpool.
The IFB starts a fantastic Summer of Exporting that could transform our international trading position. I’m going to be there - if you’re serious about growing your business you need to be there too.