Latin America Set to Shine at the International Festival for Business 2016

Next week Liverpool hosts the International Festival for Business. LatAm INVESTOR looks at how IFB2016 can act as a springboard for trade between the UK and Latin America...

This summer will see thousands of sports fans from around the globe flock to Brazil, as Rio de Janeiro picks up the baton from London to host the Summer Olympic Games. Next week, however, all eyes will be on the UK as Liverpool hosts the second International Festival for Business (IFB2016), which will act as a springboard for businesses between the UK and Latin America.

Stronger trade links

IFB2016 will also mark a significant milestone in the trading relationship between Argentina and the UK, with the first major Argentine business delegation to visit the UK since the election of a new pro-business Argentine Government in December 2015 set to attend the Festival’s Energy and Environment Week.

Ahead of this delegation arriving in June, Lord Price led a trade delegation to Argentina in early May, the first visit to Argentina by a UK Trade Minister for over a decade. This will mark the end of a decade of protectionist policies and is the first step towards an increase in the bilateral trade between the UK and Argentina following a meeting between Prime Minister Cameron and President Macri at Davos. Both leaders agreed on the need to restart high-level trade missions between the two countries, and significantly increase trade, currently worth £1.14 billion.

"all eyes will be on the UK as Liverpool hosts the second International Festival for Business (IFB2016)…"

IFB2016 will be showcasing the very best in global businesses in three particular sector groups: manufacturing, energy & environment, and creative & digital, all of which are exciting sectors for Latin American economies and areas where the UK has world-class expertise.

Chancellor George Osborne at the launch of IFB2016

The UK exports all around the world and is home to some of the world’s most ancient trading cities. This is why IFB2016 will yet again be the biggest event of its kind in the world, following the success of IFB2014, where £280m worth of trade and investment deals were made. The UK, and particularly the cities in the North which have grown to have their own identities distinct from London, are platforms for global trade with the facilities to match businesses, give advice on launching into new markets and find the very best cutting-edge businesses.

The UK is a world leader in professional services, and this is reflected in the rate at which it exports its services overseas. The UK is also the top destination in Europe for foreign direct investment (FDI), and the third-largest country in terms of its absolute value of inward FDI stock, testifying to the ease of doing business here and the extent to which our economy relies on foreign companies.

In goods, the UK has a strong brand, and a reputation for great safety records, and cutting-edge technology informed by scientific excellence and great design. Our businesses need access to overseas markets, and it’s a matter of targeting new destinations in an effective way.

Liverpool and Latin America

IFB2016 takes place at an exciting time for the North of England, which is increasingly becoming a hub for global business and innovation.The UK Government has long supported the North of England as an attractive investment prospect and a prosperous economy in its own right – a Northern Powerhouse, creating the economic conditions for its own flourishing.

Liverpool, long a global destination for industrial trade, is still an important business destination. With the International Festival for Business 2016, one of the aims is to make it an unforgettable landmark and a place that trades at greater scale. Expecting over 30,000 UK and international delegates, businesspeople from all over the world will be coming to Liverpool to witness the very best in innovative new technologies globally alongside the latest developments in Liverpool’s economic regeneration such as the foundations of the Liverpool Superport, the Atlantic Gateway, and Exhibition Centre Liverpool.

Liverpool's port project could make it the number 1 destination for goods arriving from Latin America

The festival’s Fly to Buy initiative ensures the whole world has the chance to attend, offering a £2,000 subsidy to delegations, embassies and trade associations that has already seen attendees from Argentina, India and China – among others – confirm their place in Liverpool

UK Trade & Investment plays a pivotal role in making this possible and making sure that UK businesses have the support to trade overseas and that overseas firms can set up and thrive in the UK. The UK is a nexus for business people from all over the world – IFB2016 plans to take advantage of this and confirm the UK as the global leader in places to do business. In an increasingly connected world, Liverpool and the North are on the right side of global transformation.

The Festival will provide fantastic opportunities for delegates from Latin America to meet new business partners and suppliers, and secure trade and investment partnerships.

The International Festival for Business 2016 is free to attend, you can register at