Liverpool renews Shanghai links for IFB

LIVERPOOL has returned to Shanghai to showcase next summer’s International Festival for Business (IFB) at a series of special events and meetings with some of China’s key business and political leaders.

The city and Shanghai enjoy a close bond – Liverpool was the only regional city to attend the World Expo there in 2010 – and so it was a natural move to visit as part of preparations for IFB 2014.

Cllr Nick Small, the Liverpool City Council Cabinet Member for Employment, Enterprise and Skills, was a key note speaker at the China Britain Business Council’s (CBBC) Outbound Conference in Shanghai.

The flagship conference this week was organised for businesses looking to strengthen their international growth strategies. It was attended by representatives from more than 350 leading Chinese and global businesses, including Jaguar Land Rover, HSBC and China International Capital Corporation, as well as a number of key political figures.

A video message from Prime Minister, David Cameron, was broadcast and translated into Mandarin, further endorsing his support of next summer’s global event and encouraging Chinese businesses to be involved.

IFB 2014 is a 50-day business festival, comprising 100 events, hosted in Liverpool city region during June-July 2014 and will champion UK businesses to new markets, new products and new partners.

The festival is a key part of the Government’s ambition to promote economic growth, rebalance the economy and double UK exports by 2020.

Cllr Small also met with Han Zheng, the Shanghai China Communist Party Secretary and former Mayor of Shanghai, to discuss the festival’s programme and to reinforce further Liverpool’s ‘sister-city’ relationship with Shanghai.

Cllr Small said: “IFB 2014 is a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our links further with the second biggest economy in the world. The feedback I’ve already had from Chinese business leaders has been really positive.”

The tour, which continues until Friday 12 September, will conclude with visits to the Eastern-China provinces of Hangzhou and Nanjing.

The Liverpool delegates will meet with senior representatives from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the acting Mayor of Hangzhou.