Global showcase returns to Liverpool next summer

Fri, July 14th, 2017

Liverpool’s International Business Festival is being held for the third time

Liverpool’s International Business Festival is being held for the third time in 2018 - and it will be the most important one yet.

Formerly known as the International Festival for Business, the first one took place in the city in 2014 and lasted more than six weeks.

A shorter festival took place last year centered around Exhibition Centre Liverpool.

Brexit context

Organisers will keep the three-week format when the event returns in June next summer and it comes just as the Brexit negotiations reach their latter stages.

The first two festivals helped generate around £600m in sales or investment for UK firms. The target for 2018 is £400m which would take the total for the three to £1bn.

Last year, buyers and investors from almost 100 countries converged on Liverpool and UK firms secured export deals of more than £87m.

Golden opportunity

Although the festival is a UK event it is an obvious opportunity to place our city in the global shop window.

When we leave the European Union it is crucial we hit the the ground running with trade deals with the rest of the world.

The International Business Festival presents companies with a golden opportunity to forge relationships which could lead to prosperity and jobs over the coming years.

Liverpool & Sefton Chambers, and many of its members, were involved in the first two events and next year will be no exception.

Whatever your business is, today is the day to start getting involved in next year’s festival - it is never too soon to start planning how you can make the most of the global audience that will be here for three weeks.

Export openings

You may be a fledgling exporter or you may never have exported at all. The festival offers you the chance to access new markets. So start planning your pitch and strategy right now.

Research from 2016 showed that around third of festival delegates in 2016 had been actively encouraged by the event to begin exporting, or to explore opportunities in new overseas markets.

For 2018, the festival will focus on nine core sectors which will drive the economy of the future – from health and life sciences to sustainable energy to creative industries – with specially curated theme days dedicated to each one.

Global gateway

Festival chair Max Steinberg said: “With its vibrant entrepreneurial culture and historic standing as a gateway to the world, Liverpool is the natural home for the International Business Festival.

“The event consistently delivers enormous benefit to the city region. To date the International Business festival has delivered £600m of additional trade and investment to the UK economy, a good proportion of that within Merseyside.

“My message to companies is clear: whether you’re based in Bangalore or Birkenhead, if you want to be part of with the Festival then let’s do business.”

The International Business Festival will be held between 12 and 28 June 2018 and you can register for tickets by logging on to

If you currently export or are looking to export in the future, contact the International Trade team at the Chamber to find out more about access to potential ERDF funding and how we can help grow your business - email or call us on 0151 227 123

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