More than 800 companies are confirmed to be attending the International Festival for Business (IFB2016), being held at Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre. Following the success of IFB2014, organisers have forecast bigger and better investment opportunities, worth hundreds of millions of pounds, to those attending this year.
The International Festival for Business, which begins next Monday and ends of July 1st, was founded by UKTI and Liverpool Vision and aims to provide a networking and trading platform for businesses from all around the world.
Over the festival’s three weeks period, the city of Liverpool is expected to play host to more than 100 international delegations from 95 different countries, all looking to team up with or invest in UK firms. Split between conferences, workshops and seminar, IFB2016 is expected to foreground a range of topics including: the future of retail, food and drink e-commerce and the advantages of sourcing British. The keynote line-up includes the Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) which will be providing UK firms the opportunity to meet Brazilian and Mexican buyers.
In terms of delegate demographic, surprisingly, it’s Bangladesh leading the charge; the country is bringing representatives from more than 45 local companies. Economic giant, China, is also responsible will also make up a good proportion of the numbers with officials from Chengdu flocking in and the country will doubtless be one of the key investors next month.
Max Steinberg, Chair of the International Festival for Business, was enthusiastic about the potential of this year’s event, saying it has the potential to not only increase global trading and exports but will also act as a way of marketing the city of Liverpool itself.
IFB2014 is independently reported to have secured more than £250m worth of investment and sales leads for UK companies. Moreover, it is thought that export deals worth £100m with 750 further companies were made over the following eighteen month period as a direct result of the festival.
As for who the recipients of such significant investment are, it’s businesses in the North West of England who seem to take the greatest share of international investment home. Just over 50% of the companies that received either investment or strong leads from IFB2014 reside in the North West.
Likewise, as Max Steinberg highlights, IFB2016 will also deliver significant economic impact to the region of Liverpool itself, bringing millions of pounds worth of investment in accommodation, shopping and food. The 2014 festival saw more than £14m spent in the city. In order to boost trade, organisers are arranging tours for international delegates with a view to showcasing what the city has to offer both in a commercial and cultural sense. Specifically, they are expected to draw attention to Wirral Waters and Liverpool Waters as well as a number of key manufacturers.