And so this is Christmas…

Posted by Paul Cherpeau

Chief Executive

Fri 22nd, Dec

2017 has been monumental in our country’s political and economic history and 2018 promises to be another unpredictable period for business, albeit one with tremendous opportunity that the Chamber looks forward to supporting.

There is no doubt that the impending Brexit negotiations on trade will have fundamental implications, not just for our international traders but for those dependent upon the import of raw materials and goods. Ensuring our businesses are prepared for changes to customs practices and immigration will be integral to the Chamber’s goals in the New Year, hopefully avoiding the political noise and fanfares about the colour of a passport and focussing on the essentials of how we will trade goods and services and employ people with the right skills for the jobs we need to be done.

The return of the International Business Festival in 2018 once again gives us the opportunity to place Liverpool as a great destination to do business, whether attracting inward investment, pursuing overseas trade links or brokering trade between international partners. The festival accompanies a huge piece of work looking at how Liverpool City Region positions itself on the world stage and allocates its resources to achieve our shared global ambitions. We look forward to working with our Members to ensure businesses are positioned centrally to the development of such strategies.

We remain below the national average in skills attainment. More must be done to maximise the outstanding assets of our higher education institutes and the talent they provide, to support the development of our local economy. Similarly, our providers of apprenticeships and training have much to offer and our job is to ensure our employers have the ability to access such opportunities in a much clearer and simplified way. The voice of business is key to ensuring employer need within the work-based learning environment is clear.

Finally, the welcome progression of Northern Powerhouse investment in transport and digital must be maintained into tangible returns in 2018. The development of High Speed rail links from West to East in addition to North-South needs to accompany shorter term investments in road, rail and air transport infrastructure that prioritises access to and from the port, airport and motorway networks. We look forward to getting the views of business involved in the debate and will continue to lobby regionally and nationally to ensure our city region is not held back by an inability to move people and freight.

So there is much to look forward to. I’d like to thank all of our members and shareholders for their support through this challenging year. The Chamber’s provision of knowledge, advocacy and network services within the city region will develop substantially in 2018 and we enter the New Year confident that we can deliver the mantra of the Chamber’s founding members: that we meet and act for a common good and represent the commercial interests of Liverpool.

Have a wonderful Christmas. We look forward to being your agents, advocates, supporters and champions in 2018. 

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