Following the announcement by UKTI of the series of Global Business Summits to take place during the London Olympics, the Parliamentary Yearbook has been closely following progress and achievements as the conferences take place
During the six weeks of the Games, the British Business Embassy hosted 17 global business summits at Lancaster House, following the annual Global Investment Conference on July 26. Each was targeted at individual sectors or countries.
The series of global business summits at the British Business Embassy is the largest and most ambitious set of trade and investment events ever held in this country.
Over 3,000 Government Ministers, business leaders and policy-makers from the UK and around the world came through the doors of Lancaster House. These events allowed businesses and Governments to exchange views and ideas, discuss local and international economic challenges, develop strong global partnerships for future growth and showcase the best of British business to the world.
Ministers last week vowed to capitalise on the success of the Olympics by working with UK firms to realise an international business legacy that could be worth £13bn to the UK economy in future years.
This builds on the substantial investment decisions we have seen in recent weeks, with £14bn of business deals announced at a time when the eyes of the world have been on the UK.
During the Olympics the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Chancellor, Business Secretary and 35 other ministers have welcomed around 3,000 business leaders and global figures so far, including over half of the FTSE 100 companies and hundreds of international buyers, investors and policy makers, to 12 Global Business Summits at Lancaster House.
Speakers have included IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, designer Stella McCartney and Apple designer Sir Jonathan Ive. Further events will continue into September, with the total number of attendees set to reach 4,000. A programme of 75 business seminars around the UK is also underway.
Last Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer jointly hosted a Brazil Business Summit bringing UK and Brazilian businesses together to forge new trading partnerships, including multi-million pound opportunities to help deliver the Rio 2016 Games. Already, Aecom UK has won an international competition to design the Rio 2016 Olympic Park Master Plan, Populous designed the Sochi stadium, and a number of British companies including Atkins have won around £600m contracts for Qatar 2022 in related infrastructure development and planning.
At the event, Asyst International + Rhealeza, a Brazilian multinational providing a range of ICT services, will announce plans to create 700 UK jobs over the next three years. Bristol firm Viper Subsea will announce that it has secured a major contract for the supply of underwater components for use in a deep-water development the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil. And the UK Intellectual Property Office will announce the appointment of a UK Intellectual Property Attache to Brazil to support UK firms doing business in this fast growing market.
Overall, hosting the Olympics is forecast to deliver around £13bn in economic benefit to the UK in the coming months and years as businesses take advantage of the unique opportunities provided.
This includes £1billion of extra sales for businesses taking part in the British Business Embassy programme, £4 billion of high value overseas opportunities for UK firms in markets including Brazil, Russia and China, £6billion of inward investment and a £2.3billion boost to tourism.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:
“It’s not only our athletes who have shown themselves to be world-class, British businesses have played a key role in delivering our most successful games in history.
“Producing the most spectacular show on earth has given UK companies the skills and expertise to support Brazil as the baton is passed to Rio 2016.
“We have identified huge opportunities for UK firms to work on the next Olympic games in Sochi and Rio – a golden boost to British businesses that will create jobs and support economic growth.”
Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said:
“Team GB has seen exceptional success at the Olympics in the last few weeks and, at a time when the international spotlight is firmly upon us, we have also seen huge levels of investment by businesses.
“Our task now is to drive home the message that Britain is open for business, and to enhance the conditions that companies need to invest and grow.”
Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said:
“The extraordinary success of the 2012 Olympics has proved to the world that British events, products and services are second to none.
“We are making this message clear to partners in Brazil and the region in the months and years ahead, working with businesses of all sizes and sectors to help them get ahead of the competition on the international stage.
“Boosting our trading links with nations around the world is vital to securing the sustainable economic growth we need and this is a challenge the whole Government is committed to meeting.”
Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green, said:
“The Games have provided a golden opportunity to enhance our status as a leading business partner and destination for investment.”
“At the British Business Embassy we have so far hosted 3,000 business people from large and small firms alike. The connections they have made will deliver real economic results.
“We are now working hard, alongside firms around the country to follow up the contacts, networks, announcements and momentum created by the Games.”
The Government’s international Olympic business legacy programme, including the Host2Host programme, Suppliers Directory and British Business Club have been delivering benefits for UK companies since the programme commenced in 2007.
Following the Olympics, initiatives to promote UK businesses will include:
- ‘Great Britain Delivers’ – a multi-media showcase taking the message to the world that the UK can deliver major global projects on time and on budget.
- Further British Business Embassy programmes at major international events including the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and subsequent Games, including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
- Trade missions to countries set to host the Olympics, Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in the coming years, including Brazil, Russia and Qatar, to export the expertise and skills of UK firms. An estimated £1.5bn worth of contracts have been identified flowing from Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016.
Business groups and senior business figures taking part in British Business Embassy events have voiced their support for the programme and the importance of securing a business legacy from the Olympics.
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:
“British business has played a huge part in delivering a fantastic Olympic Games. We now want to build on that achievement, and the talent and skills that have underpinned it, to create a legacy which helps the UK to secure growth and new jobs in the years ahead.”
John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“The FSB is pleased that the British Business Embassy events have been selling ‘Brand GB’ as a strong and innovative brand to global business. It is important that the Government builds on the Olympic legacy created by encouraging big business to support small businesses in the supply chain to encourage innovation and boost exporting.”
Graeme Leach, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“The Olympics has been a fantastic show, and it is now crucial that we get as much economic benefit from it as possible. Bringing visitors to the UK is a good way to make money in the short term, but it is the big contracts to bring investment in and sell British goods abroad that are the real prize. It is good news for business that so many foreign delegations and business leaders have come to London to see us set out our stall. We know our athletes are world-beaters, and now it is time to show that our companies are, too.”
Starting with the Global Investment Conference when the Prince of Wales hosted delegates in the garden of Clarence House, the events have seen highlights from the Duchess of Cambridge bringing together creative industries in a royal reception to a life sciences summit attended by 15 Health Ministers from around the world.
As a result of this unprecedented drive to promote UK businesses to international investors, UK Trade and Investment is engaging with hundreds of companies on their overseas export plans, and supporting foreign investors with inward investment opportunities into the UK.
The Parliamentary Information Office will continue to monitor and report on progress as we go through the weeks ahead and provide a full report on achievements at the end of the series of conferences