A speech by The Duke of Cambridge at the International Business Festival Forum, Liverpool
I am delighted to be here in Liverpool today at the International Business Festival, and I am proud to be the event’s patron this year.
I was impressed to learn that the Festival has delivered more than half a billion pounds of new trade and investment to date. From all that I’ve seen, the team here have continued to build on this success, and I’d like to thank them for all their hard work.
The Business Festival is already demonstrating its success in bringing together international businesspeople to build networks and share knowledge. There are representatives here today of businesses from across the UK and around the world – from India, from China and throughout Europe. Although our backgrounds may be different, we are all united by our shared connection through trade.
Britain has always been a champion of trade and a hub for commerce and exchange between our nations. There is perhaps nowhere in the country that embodies this more than Liverpool.
But the Festival also gives us an opportunity to look beyond the immediate term and at our collective future. I have just come from visiting the Festival’s UK Innovation Hub, where some of the technologies that will shape global business over the coming years and decades are on display.
Presented here by the UK government through the GREAT campaign, these innovations exemplify the creativity and inventiveness of British firms.
We know that one of the major challenges for industry is access to a skilled workforce. It’s something which business and civil society must work together on. It is only by investing in the skills of our young people in enterprise that we will be able to build the fair and prosperous society that we want our children to inherit.
That’s why I’ve been particularly impressed by the emphasis that the Business Festival has placed on developing the next generation of business leaders. After talking to you all, I’m looking forward to meeting some budding young business people, to discuss what they’ve learned here at the Festival and where they feel their future in business lies.
Businesses – both large and small – are responsible for many things that are the bedrock of our society: quality of life, meaningful employment, prosperity and technological solutions. Many of the charities I work with cannot make progress unless they partner with business. That is why I’m particularly proud to be patron of a Festival that shares my belief that business can and must be an international force for good.
I wish you all an engaging and profitable time at the Business Festival. I hope you leave with your address books bursting with new contacts and opportunities from all across the world. I look forward to hearing about your future success. Thank you.