George Osborne backs return of International Festival for Business in 2016

Chancellor George Osborne has backed the return of the International Festival for Business (IFB) to Liverpool in 2016, following a successful first year.

In a keynote speech at one of the festival’s key events, the Santander SME summit at the Cunard Building on the waterfront, Osborne said he had granted a request for financial support for IFB 2016 from the Mayor of Liverpool: "When I travel round the world meeting foreign governments and investors I am selling Britain as a brand and events like the International Festival for Business make that job easier.

"It’s a shop window for global markets and a reminder that we can be proud of the stamp that reads ‘Made in Britain'.

"So, today I am backing this initiative, committing the funding requested by the Mayor [of Liverpool] Joe Anderson and Liverpool city council for another festival here in Liverpool in 2016."

The IFB, which is half way through 50 days of hosting more than 250 business events, is Britain’s biggest business festival for more than 60 years.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson added: "As we reach the half-way stage of what has already been an inspiring and diverse programme of superb business events, I am delighted that its impact has been seen by government and that they have chosen Liverpool to reprise the international festival for business in 2016.

“A country like the UK that is looking to increase its exports should be holding an event like this on a regular basis.

“I am proud that Liverpool has been able to provide a wonderful platform for the UK to showcase the best of business and industry. It is truly a reflection of how far the city has come, the extent of our ambition and the fact that Liverpool is open for business.”

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