50 days out from the opening of the 2018 International Business Festival, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, have urged businesses to take advantage of the event.

Held at the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the festival will take place from 12-28 June and will focus on key growth industries including life sciences, manufacturing and the creative sector.

Across three weeks, this exciting event will bring together exhibitors and visitors from around the world and will help UK businesses grow and make global connections.

“The goal of delivering inclusive economic growth that works for everyone in the Liverpool City Region - and Greater Manchester - is only achievable through an entrepreneurial, innovative and successful private sector,” said Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.

“This dynamic event gives businesses across the North West the opportunity to access the world on their doorstep.

“Since the Festival launched in 2014, it has delivered over half a billion pounds of additional trade and investment for the UK – the majority of that within the North West.

“I would urge any firm wanting to make the next step to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”

Speaking to an audience of around 100 North West business leaders at a forum about the future of the city regions, the metro mayors were quizzed by Nichol’s plc CEO and regional CBI chair Marnie Millard.

They were asked about the challenges and priorities for businesses in the region over the next few years and decades – including how city devolution could supercharge international investment and how Brexit could affect access to key overseas markets.

From the prospect of innovative, super-fast transport connections boosting productivity, to the promise of tidal power providing cheap, clean energy for growth, Burnham and Rotheram outlined their vision for a networked and prosperous North West.

“Greater Manchester and Liverpool are two devolved administrations which are primed and ready to make decisions on regional issues that can truly make the difference people need,” said Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

“But we cannot do this alone – we need the support of the business and private sectors in the North West to kick-start growth and help create a thriving local economy.

“I’m looking forward to attending the 2018 International Business Festival where companies will be presenting exciting plans for the future and sharing advice and insight as everyone works towards economic success.”

Chair of International Business Festival Max Steinberg also used the event to announce the 2018 Festival’s exciting programme of speakers, including designer Wayne Hemingway, ARM Holdings CEO Simon Segars and Siemens chief executive Juergen Maier.