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13 Jun 16


Chancellor of exchequer detail

The International Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016), the world’s biggest business festival has opened today (Monday June 13th) with a keynote address from the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.


The three week festival featuring a programme of inspirational speakers, business networking and over 80 events launched with a flurry of world leaders and former heads of state, flocking to the ECL to attend the inaugural Horasis Global Meeting, which is being held in the city as part of the three week festival.


Speakers at the Horasis Global Meeting include former South African president and Nobel Peace Laureate F.W. de Klerk, and the Director General of UNESCO, Irena Bokova. The event is just one of 80 taking place during the festival, with each week is clustered around a specific theme: manufacturing, creative and digital, and energy and environment.


Bentley Motors is the final international brand to join the line-up of prestigious global names taking part in the festival’s “Meet the Buyer” service, which also includes tech Giant Microsoft, Heathrow Airport and the Harada Corporation.


Companies attending IFB2016 that are members of the IFB2016 Business Club are also able to access the “Meet the Buyer” programme to meet international companies looking to forge new trading partnerships and access exclusive business services and networking opportunities.


Around 30,000 delegates are expected to attend the conference, including around 10,000 international SMEs and high-level delegates from some of the world’s fastest growing economies. Over 108 international delegations from 95 countries, representing almost 800 companies from around the world have confirmed attendance. International delegates will be travelling a collective two million miles to IFB2016 to establish trade links with British companies looking to export products or services to global markets.


Ian McCarthy, IFB2016 festival director, said: “We’ve got a brilliant programme with over 80 not-to-be-missed events, all taking place in Liverpool’s world-class exhibition centre and it’s fantastic to have the Chancellor with us to launch IFB2016 today.


“Liverpool is a city built on global trade and we’re proud to be building on that legacy and welcoming thousands of delegates from across the world to this amazing city to make connections, strike deals and do business on a global scale.


“IFB2016 positions Liverpool alongside places like Cannes, Glastonbury, and Edinburgh which have developed massive profile and are renowned across the globe for the events they deliver. We’re looking forward to showcasing the fantastic offering that Liverpool presents to a global audience and celebrating the best of business and UK innovation.”


Chris Heyes, Head of International at IFB2016, said: “The number of international delegations that are coming to IFB2016 continues to grow, presenting a fantastic opportunity for UK businesses to meet a global audience at one festival. Connecting with businesses from around the world, whether to do deals, find suppliers or develop new partnerships is what the IFB2016 is all about. The IFB2016 is an unmissable festival for businesses wherever they are from and this is why delegations are travelling from every corner of the world to attend.”


Delegates will also be able to experience the GREAT British Showcase at IFB2016. Representing the best in innovation, creativity and design – the showcase will contain key pillars representing what makes UK businesses appealing overseas and why the UK attracts significant international inward investment. The showcase, which contains exhibits from companies across the UK, will form a core attraction and backdrop for the festival.


Festival Chair Max Steinberg said: “What is striking about the festival is that it combines concrete deal-making opportunities with a genuinely inspirational programme which is accessible to anyone and is absolutely free.


“Our confidence in the festival is matched by the confidence of the UK Government and we believe we are building something which, in years to come, will be seen as a must-attend global business event. Business people of all types should regard it as a kind of festival for deal-making – meeting the right people and engaging with potential new customers and investors.”


The GREAT Britain Campaign’s showcase will form a core attraction and backdrop at IFB2016. With companies exhibiting from across the UK,  the GREAT British Showcase will represent innovation, creativity and design – key pillars of what makes  UK businesses appealing overseas and why the UK attracts significant international inward investment.


Delegates will also be able to take part in IFB2016’s Blue Skies Programme, which includes a ground-breaking series of events and talks that are free to attend and run throughout the three-weeks. Global leaders from the worlds of politics, business, academia and culture and trail-blazing thinkers from the worlds of sustainability, fashion, retail, banking, automotive, manufacturing, engineering and economics will take part in the Blue Skies programme, with free talks taking place at 5.30pm on the Blue Skies stage every day.


Delivered in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the GREAT Britain Campaign and with the support of the UK Government,  the International Festival for Business 2016 will run from 13th June to 1st July.

For more information, or to register, please visit  to sign up to the IFB2016 Business Club. Follow on Twitter  and LinkedIn.

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