02 March 2018

Your ticket to fresh opportunities

Ripe with potential deals, valuable insight and new connections, the International Business Festival is a date no ambitious business will want to miss, says David Beaty, UK Head of Business Banking for HSBC.

All roads will lead to Liverpool this June as the city hosts its third International Business Festival - one of the largest events of its kind in the world.

If you were among the 31,000 people who experienced the last festival in 2016, you will know exactly why there is such a buzz around this year's gathering.

If not, I would like to try to explain why every growth-minded business should consider making the festival a fixture on their 2018 calendar.

Where future partners meet

The festival brings business people together to develop new partnerships, explore new markets, broaden their business skills, mingle with business decision-makers, and hear inspiring speakers.

Above all else, it acts as an open market to new deals. Mingling under the same roof will be a host of ambitious international companies, all looking to meet new investors, suppliers and partners.

As a yardstick, the 2016 event was attended by people from 98 countries. It is believed to have benefited the UK economy by some £250m, creating around 2,000 jobs.

Above all else, it acts as an open market to new deals.

High-growth themes

This year the festival is evolving. The depth and variety of the programme looks really exciting.

It runs over nine days, each themed around a different aspect of high-growth business. This schedule will help businesses identify which parts of the festival can add most value to their business, by connecting them with relevant experts and like-minded companies.

The themes are global economics, urbanisation & cities, sustainable energy, future transport, manufacturing, global logistics, life science, creative industries & culture, and media & sport.

Each day will see a programme of conferences and seminars featuring input from leading authorities in their fields. HSBC will have speakers at a number of the events, as well as colleagues out in force to support delegates with information and introductions.

Springboard to new markets

HSBC's own partnership with the festival started in 2015. The event's aims - to enable businesses to scale up and find new opportunities, domestic and international - chime with our own purpose.

While HSBC is deeply rooted in the UK, we provide a unique gateway to the world through our operations around the globe. Our unparalleled network allows us to connect clients to growth opportunities and facilitate international trade.

Looking beyond Brexit

Many businesses are broadening their horizons since the vote to leave the EU. The current negotiations create some uncertainty, but UK businesses are not sitting on their hands and waiting for the outcome. They are looking to the future and considering new export market opportunities.

The combination of the Brexit vote, the reduction in the value of sterling, and the nature of the markets that offer the highest growth potential is naturally driving firms to think beyond Europe.

The International Business Festival can help them learn about many new markets, including the substantial opportunities for growth in China, India and North America.

A date worth making

For any business leader, time spent away from core activities has to be carefully rationed. But I would urge every business to browse the festival programme and weigh up the potential benefits of joining us in Liverpool at some point between 12 and 28 June. I look forward to meeting you there.

See full programme details for the International Business Festival and book your place here.

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