The first international festival in 2014 saw £280 million worth of investment and trade. Together with the festival in 2016, the festival has generated £500 million worth of deals, £250 million in sales and has secured £87 million worth of exports.
This year’s festival runs from today until June 28 and promises to be a lively event, given how much the world of international business is changing. The most recent G7 meeting of many of the world’s largest economies raised the spectre of trade wars with the US over Donald Trump’s isolationist economic agenda, and talk of the negative impact of Brexit will not be far from anyone’s lips.
That makes Liverpool’s role in bringing together so many leaders from right across the world so vital. This year the event has been specially re-designed to break down barriers to growth.
The world economy is shifting fast. Faster, better connections are opening up new possibilities for growth, but also causing disruption. For instance, China’s reimagination of the ‘Silk Road’ includes investments in ports and transport infrastructure, including Liverpool.
Good business means investing in people and communities. Leaders will also be discussing how people’s livelihoods and incomes can be protected, now and in the future.
A good economy helps to create and support health and happiness across society. The festival will be looking at how business can contribute – from life-saving advances in medicine and healthcare to immersive new worlds of entertainment and sport.
This festival celebrates the best of business and the challenges it faces in supporting economic growth and health and well-being in the years ahead. We can all be proud that Liverpool is playing such a central role in hosting these international discussions.