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Manchester leaders launch strategy to take city-region global

Leaders from across the public and private sector have joined together for the official launch of the Greater Manchester Internationalisation Strategy, a three year framework for action which will be worth over £2.2bn to the region’s economy

Held at the Pavilion Theatre in Albert Square, home of Manchester International Festival, the prestigious crowd gathered to hear Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of Manchester City Council and Deputy Mayor for Economic Growth and Business at the GMCA, introduce the Strategy.

This was followed by a panel session discussing how the regions universities, transport, manufacturing, culture and tourism sectors could support the strategy.

The session was moderated by Andy Bounds, Northwest Correspondent, Financial Times; with the panel consisting of Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor, The University of Manchester; Collette Roche, Acting Managing Director, Manchester Airports Group; Wayne Jones OBE, Member of the Executive Board – Global Sales & Aftersales, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE; and Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive, VisitBritain.

Commissioned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), and following consultations with partners across Greater Manchester and the UK, the Strategy sets out how Greater Manchester aims to achieve its long-term vision to become a top global city by 2035.

It identifies eight key priorities which frame the region’s ambitions. These are:

  1. A global gateway for the UK and the North
  2. A world centre for trade across the region’s prime and enabling sectors
  3. UK Magnet for Foreign Direct Investment in key growth sectors and specialisms
  4. A strong portfolio of prime foreign capital investment opportunities promoted globally
  5. Strengthened world leading international research capabilities and entrepreneurial talent
  6. The best UK destination for international students
  7. A world class visitor hub
  8. Building the Manchester brand and reputation by telling our story brilliantly to the global audience

The Strategy will be implemented by a number of key delivery partners, including members of The Growth Company (Marketing Manchester & MIDAS) and Department for International Trade (DIT) – in addition to private sector organisations, universities, and Manchester Airport.

Sir Richard Leese said: “This latest Greater Manchester Internationalisation Strategy is being launched at a critical time for the region.

“Manchester has established itself as a premier league European city with a diversified economy.

“We’ve now been ranked a top 10 global city for FDI Strategy by fDi Global Cities of the Future, and in Lonely Planet’s ‘best in travel’.

“The city’s profile has now never been stronger, with significant developments in key sectors, workforce skills, and quality of life to name a few. Our infrastructure is seeing remarkable development with Metrolink continuing its expansion across the region and Manchester Airport, which connects Manchester to over 200 destinations worldwide, recently reporting its 38th month of consecutive passenger growth.

“Greater Manchester is also finding itself at the centre of some seismic shifts in the political landscape to which it must respond. With Brexit likely to significantly change the way the UK deals with the rest of the world in terms of trade, FDI, and research, it’s vital that we make clear our continuing international ambitions.

“As we build on our success, we’ll look to strengthen not just Greater Manchester, but the entire Northern Powerhouse. We must work with our partners in the north of England to ensure that we’re able to achieve our shared objectives and build a stronger, more inclusive United Kingdom.”

The full strategy is available here.

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