Published 29 September 2017

One way in which the Festival is particularly distinctive is its commitment to prosperity across the whole of the United Kingdom.

The Duke of Cambridge

It is fantastic to be here this evening in my capacity as Patron of the 2018 International Business Festival.

Britain has always been a great trading nation, not only for itself but as a hub for global trade between other partners.  As a nation, we have always celebrated trade – which is one of the oldest forms of human activity – as a means for prosperity, liberalising our society and raising the common good. 

The International Business Festival celebrates this heritage. The Festival's organising principle is that business can, and should, be a force for good. 

As we look to the future, we all recognise just how important it will be that we work to build connections with trading partners all around the world – strengthening links with old friends, and creating new opportunities.

I have had the opportunity in the past to experience the GREAT campaign, which Conrad heads, promoting some of the UK’s most innovative and ambitious companies at exhibitions in China, Japan and the US.

When meeting the people behind the small and medium sized companies at these events, I am always struck by the ingenuity, drive and commitment on display.

Enterprises like these are the engines of the British economy.  The International Business Festival has a vital role to play in providing the support and connections they need to grow.

Since its launch, the Festival has been successful in helping businesses to attract significant investment and access to opportunities.  I am very pleased to see the way in which the Festival is particularly focusing on S.M.E.s this year as the backbone of our economy.  

One way in which the Festival is particularly distinctive is its commitment to prosperity across the whole of the United Kingdom.  The fact that the Festival has always taken place in Liverpool is testament to this commitment, borne out, not just by words but by action.  

2018 is set to be an important year for Liverpool, with the Festival at the centre of a calendar of major events – including the ten-year anniversary of the city being named a European Capital of Culture.

Receiving this status in 2008 was a catalyst for Liverpool, which today is at the centre of one of the fastest growing regional economies in the UK.

But the story of Liverpool has always been one of the positive, transformative impact of business; from its historic status as one of the world’s foremost ports, to its current reputation as a centre of excellence for the knowledge economy and advanced industry.

It is only fitting, then, that the city should continue to be the home of the International Business Festival, hosting the event on behalf of the entire UK.

I very much hope to be joining you when the world gathers in Liverpool in June 2018 to connect, share new ideas and celebrate the dynamism and diversity of global trade.

My congratulations to all the organisers of this special event, in particular to Max, and many thanks for your attention tonight. 

Thank you – and I hope to see you in June.