• BCC Annual Conference: 14th March 2013, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster
One week ahead of the most crucial Budget in decades, the British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference will bring businesses and politicians together to debate what measures are needed to build a ‘new model economy’ for Britain. The conference, sponsored by RBS, DHL and BT Business, will feature speakers at the heart of the business growth agenda, and from across the political spectrum.Exactly two weeks today, BCC Director General John Longworth will be joined by a ‘senior government spokesperson’* and a range of high-profile politicians and business leaders to explain why Business is Good for Britain. Discussions will centre around the critical issues of confidence, new export markets, financing for growth companies, and renewing Britain’s infrastructure.
Speakers at the conference include:
• Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
• Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport
• Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition
• Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury
• Rt Hon Lord Heseltine CH
• Chris Sullivan, Chief Executive of the UK Corporate Banking Division, RBS
• Dr Linda Yueh, Fellow in Economics, University of Oxford
• Dr Nicola Millard, Futurologist, BT
• Wayne Hemingway OBE, Founder, Red or Dead
• Paul Simmons, UK Director, easyJet plc
• Clemence Cheng, MD, Hutchinson Port Holdings Central Europe Division
Commenting ahead of the Annual Conference, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“We are in difficult economic times.  Never before has it been more important for government to be bold and take radical action. By bringing together Britain’s political leaders with businesses that are striving to succeed in every part of the country, we can find solutions to our economic problems, and work to drive Britain out of stagnation and into renewed prosperity.”
Dr Vince Cable, Business Secretary, said:
“Business and Government must all work together if we are to get the UK back on a strong economic footing. Access to finance, skills and investing in future technology are important issues for Chamber members and the Government. That's why I'm looking forward to discussing these matters at the BCC Annual Conference.”
Ed Miliband, Leader of the Opposition, said:
“The British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference is a key opportunity to learn about and discuss the challenges facing British businesses, and I am delighted to be taking part. The Chamber Network is a vital source of expertise, advice and support for growing businesses around the UK. That is why we have just launched a consultation with Chamber members to understand the challenges they face in accessing finance and how a Government-backed bank might help address them. I am looking forward to learning more and discussing how a One Nation Labour party can support businesses around the UK.”
Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary, said:
“Small and medium enterprises have a huge role to play in rebalancing our economy so that we generate the growth and jobs we need to succeed in the global marketplace. Businesses up and down the country need a modern, efficient, and reliable transport network so that staff get to work, suppliers get to business, and goods get to market. The Government is working on all fronts to make sure that we get the transport improvements we need today as well as the long term infrastructure and investment decisions we need tomorrow for our roads, railways, ports and airports.”
Linda Yueh, Economist, Bloomberg, said:
“I'm delighted to be speaking at the BCC Annual Conference on the crucial theme of growth. The BCC is at the forefront of the debate around how businesses can help the economy, which is why I am pleased to serve as an advisor on the global context.”
Wayne Hemingway MBE, Founder, Red or Dead, said:
“As someone who started out with the simple need to get some money to pay the rent and turned that ‘need’ into a career, I passionately believe that there needs to be opportunities and entry points for folk to ‘have a go’. The BCC has always been a supporter of the entrepreneurial spirit, and I am delighted to speak at the Annual Conference on how creative and innovative businesses can help the economy grow.”