COBCOE kicks off 2018 International Business Festival

Liverpool June 2018COBCOE helped to kick off the 2018 International Business Festival in Liverpool by hosting a key conference on the opening day, Tuesday 12 June. This was one of a series of COBCOE events to take place in the city over three days from 11 to 13 June. 

The conference was preceded by the COBCOE Annual General Meeting on Monday 11 June, kindly hosted by DLA Piper, in Walker House, one of Liverpool's many impressive old buildings.

Our pre-conference reception, sponsored by Flywire, the international payments specialist, took place in the evening at the Terracotta Warriors exhibition in Liverpool's World Museum.

David Thomas MBE, COBCOE Executive Chairman, and Max Steinberg CBE, Chairman of the 2018 International Business Festival, gave the opening keynotes to our conference, titled 'We need to talk about... the Global Future of Business'. Max Steinberg spoke about the importance of business to the city and how business people will be the best ambassadors for the UK in future.

Three sessions followed on the themes of Brexit and changes coming to the world of work and business, consisting of six panel discussions and three further keynotes:

  • Paul Hardy, Brexit Director, DLA Piper, summarised the three elements of the Brexit process – withdrawal, trade and Northern Ireland – while assessing the gulf between EU and UK wants and the type of deal needed for frictionless trade,
  • Tadeusz Kościński, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Poland, went through Poland's impressive transformation from a state run to free market economy, and
  • Helen Brand OBE, CEO, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, looked at changes to the ways in which we work and the need to develop new talent. 

Other speakers included senior representatives from our European chamber members, along with:

  • Mike Cherry OBE, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses
  • Ronan Quigley, Executive Director, British Chambers of Commerce
  • Susana Cordoba, Head of International Trade, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • Bertrand de Comminges, Head of Business Development, – GB&M, Global Trade & Receivables Finance, HSBC Bank Plc
  • Tej Parikh, Senior Economist, Institute of Directors
  • Shuichi Akamatsu, Minister for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan
  • Andy Snell, Head of Strategic Partnerships and International Trade, Wirral Chamber of Commerce

For more information and a full list of speakers, please see the conference programme and photographs.

On Wednesday 13 June, Anne-Marie Martin, COBCOE Chief Executive, accompanied by Joanna Dodd of Rochester PR, Penny Meigh of Step Beyond and James Blakemore of JMB Partnership launched a new range of services for UK market entry packaged together as 'Grow in Britain'. Read about the Grow in Britain package.

Anne-Marie and Glynis Whiting, COBCOE Vice-Chair, also hosted discussion about networking and using the online tool COBOCE Connects to find trusted contacts in new markets at the festival. Glynis also gave a presentation and took part in the discussion 'Cities as Networks for Innovation, Investment and Competitiveness'.

We are grateful to the international team and the organisers of the 2018 International Business Festival for their hospitality and support. The festival continues until 28 June.






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