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Treasury Secretary, Lord O'Neill and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson launch IFB2016 in Shanghai, China

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Published on Sep 23, 2015

Today Lord O’Neill, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, and Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson OBE, launched the International Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016) in Shanghai, as part of the UK government’s official visit to China.

The unveiling, to over 100 Chinese businesses and officials, kick-started the international outreach for the festival ahead of its opening on 13 June 2016. IFB 2016, the largest business expo of its type in the world, will see the world’s most influential business leaders, entrepreneurs, free-thinkers and investors come together in Liverpool, UK.

The event cast a spotlight on the industries that are defining the output of the Northern Powerhouse, with a specific focus on manufacturing, creative and digital, and energy and environment sectors.

At the event, Lord O’Neill, who is responsible for pushing forward plans to build the Northern Powerhouse, outlined the significant investment opportunities in the UK, and highlighted the support of the UK government to IFB 2016.

Following this, Joe Anderson OBE emphasised the long-standing links between IFB’s host city, Liverpool, and Shanghai and the importance of continuing to strengthen trade relations between the two countries.

“As one of six official representatives from Northern Powerhouse cities, it is a privilege to launch International Festival for Business 2016 in our twin city,” said Joe Anderson OBE, Mayor of Liverpool.

“The businesses we have invited to join us here are exceptional testaments to the Northern Powerhouse and the burgeoning talent and opportunities that exist for foreign direct investment.”

Max Steinberg CBE, chair of IFB 2016, commented: “Next year's international festival will celebrate Britain’s collective economic strengths, showcasing the UK’s capabilities to the world for three weeks of events and deal making.

“Today’s event represents a snapshot of the trade and investment opportunities that exist across the Northern Powerhouse cities and we look forward to welcoming Shanghai – and the rest of China – to IFB in June next year.”

The international launch of IFB 2016 forms a key platform of the UK government’s official visit to China that has included events in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.

It follows the inaugural festival in 2014, from which more than £300m of trade and investment deals and 10,000 jobs are expected by 2017.

At the heart of IFB, the GREAT British showcase offers a powerful reminder of the thrilling, inventive and forward thinking nature of UK-based businesses. As a snapshot of what this showcase, six innovative companies from the Northern Powerhouse joined the delegation and presented their exceptional businesses covering IFB 2016’s cores sectors of manufacturing, creative and digital industries and energy and environment:

· BAC Mono: Innovative sports car manufacturer that has designed a road legal single-seat car for performance car enthusiasts. (Liverpool)


· CSO, Zerolight: Software firm that evolved from a computer games firm to providing software that personalizes and builds cars through virtual reality. (Newcastle)


· H2 Energy Group: Designers and manufacturers of equipment that converts energy from food waste or by-product streams into usable energy. (Liverpool)


· Human Recognition Systems: Biometric technology pioneers that help construction companies, airports and other critical safe environments operate effectively through iris and fingerprint recognition. (Liverpool)




· Nifty: Hardware providers that specialise in improving computer storage. The company has worked with Chinese partners since its early days and ran a successful Kickstarter project to raise £400,000. (Manchester)


· Ojee Golf: Manufacturers of affordable technology that helps golfers improve their game. Its TALON device serves as a revolutionary new training aid that provides real-time visual feedback on golf stance and angles of address. (Acklam, North Yorkshire)

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