Business experts discuss ‘The Northern Powerhouse and Developing World Class Competitiveness.’


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Business leaders and politicians from across the North West will join academics to reflect on the Northern Powerhouse being turned from political concept into economic reality and what it means for Cheshire, Warrington and the wider region over the next decade.

Held on Wednesday, May 11 at MBNA, the Chester Forum VII is an annual symposium developed by Professor Phil Harris, Executive Director of the University’s Business Research Institute and Westminster Chair of Marketing and Public Affairs at the University. It is organised by the International Centre for Corporate and Public Affairs Research within the University’s Business School and Faculty of Science and Engineering. The Forum aims to stimulate thinking and debate about key issues and relevant themes to the regional, national and international business environment.

Panellists and delegates will consider issues and trends from Europe and the USA ahead of BREXIT and the US Presidential Elections and assess science and technology issues that need addressing in the economy. It will also look at international comparisons and the real employers and drivers of much of the economy – SME and family business. It will make critical suggestions and its aim is to inform decision makers on economic and societal priorities via dialogue and informed discussion.

The day will be chaired by Professor Harris and Dr Fran Hulbert, Chairman of the Chester Forum and University Business Advisory Council.

Speakers will include: Clive Drinkwater UKTI; Cllr Sam Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council; and Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University.

 Sessions will include: Review of the Economy and Political Overview Pre BREXIT; Reflections on the Future of the UK/North West Economy: International Trends and Issues; Technology Strategy and Export Economy and Building the Regional Economy for the 21st Century; Public Sector Development, Investment, Infrastructure and fostering SME’s; Family Business and Quality People and Service Delivery: Sustaining the quality and our regional economy and society.

The broadcaster and award-winning journalist, Jim Hancock and Professor John Mahon, University of Maine, will address a dinner at the University. Jim is the only person to have been Political Editor of both Granada Television and BBC TV in the North West. John, as one of the great writers on Business Strategy and Public Affairs will reflect on the US Presidential Elections.

Professor Phil Harris, said: “Ahead of the European referendum vote, when industrialists are fearful of a slowdown in the economy, and we are looking at the unknown in who will be elected US President in November, it is a great time for us to plan how we maintain Cheshire and Warrington’s competitiveness and strengthen our skills base to ensure we are at the centre of building a sustainable society to support all for the 21st Century.

“We need to ensure we build the best and develop the best.”

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