Business leaders from across the UK are to join forces as part of a new board of trade, convened for the first time by the Department for International Trade (DIT) today.
Liam Fox will host the board, aimed at boosting exports, attracting inward investors and “ensure the benefits of free trade are spread equally across the country”, at a meeting at the Bristol Robotics Lab today.
Advisers include Manchester Airport chief of staff Collette Roche, the former president of the board of trade Patricia Hewitt and Ian Curle, chief executive of the Edrington Group, makers of The Famous Grouse whisky.
Others include Virtualstock boss Andrew Mills, chief executive of Nichols Marnie Millard and Iqbal Ahmed, chairman and chief executive of Seamark Group.
The board will meet four times a year, with meetings rotated around the UK “guaranteeing all parts of the union have a chance to raise the issues most important to them”.
Fox said: “The advisers on the board will act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the modern businesses community to ensure the benefits of free trade are spread equally across the country.”
Josh Hardie, deputy director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), added: “We look forward to working with the government to explain these benefits and make the case for free trade.
“Top of businesses’ trade agenda is securing the best possible trade deal with the European Union. Companies across the country will be looking for clear signs of progress on this before the end of the year to provide certainty about their investments in the UK.”