​GREAT Britain and Liverpool team up in Seattle

28 April 2018

After their teams had crossed the mighty North Pacific Ocean, Clipper Race Team Partners GREAT Britain and Liverpool 2018 put their sporting rivalry aside and joined forces on Monday, at an event held on Seattle’s iconic waterfront. The evening, hosted by British Ambassador to the USA, Sir Kim Darroch, and International Business Festival Director Ian McCarthy, brought together senior executives from State of Washington based companies to celebrate and showcase what the UK has to offer in trade and business.

Sir Kim opened the event to attendees from many different business sectors, saying: “Two of the partners to the Clipper Race are the GREAT Britain Campaign and Liverpool 2018. Their involvement provides a huge opportunity to promote the UK as a place to visit, study and do business.

“The UK has a huge amount to offer, including some of the very best universities, ground-breaking research and cutting-edge tech start-ups. We are global leaders in creative industries such as music, fashion and design. These underpin much of the exceptional trade relationship between the UK and the USA, which is worth $200bn annually in two-way trade and generates one million jobs on each side of the Atlantic.

“Seattle is one of the centres of UK/USA trade. In this city, we have nearly 200 UK companies that provide almost 20,000 jobs in the State of Washington and the UK is its largest export destination, making over $5bn in goods and services.”

The reception was part of a special programme of events ahead of the International Business Festival, which is one of Liverpool 2018’s programme of events and is also supported by the GREAT Britain campaign.

Other highlights included a sailing experience on board one of the Clipper Race’s 70 foot purpose-built ocean racing yachts, attended by Sir Kim with guests from Boeing, Amazon, Chef and Astronaut Nicholas Patrick.

On the sail day, Sir Kim said: “It is a heaven-sent, informal opportunity to bond with prospects and understand just what they are doing, and in this case not only bond with them, but explain to them just what the UK can offer for them as businesses, and just what we in the US network can do to help. It has been fantastic. I would quite like to do it every day for a week!”

The UK Government Office in Seattle also hosted a Round Table business discussion on the Life Science sector. Led by Leg 7 crew member John McClennan, Vice Consul, Trade and Investment Officer and USA sector lead for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech market sectors. After which they were taking on an interactive tour of the GREAT Britain yacht, which John will be racing on.

Liverpool International Business Festival Director, Ian McCarthy, reached out to Seattle based businesses and encouraged them to attend this years event. Hesaid: “Liverpool hosts the International Business Festival on behalf of the UK in June this year. It will provide businesses with inspiration, information and a place for benchmarking their companies with the best in the world. But it is also a place for money-can’t-buy connections to stimulate creativity across creative, life science and tech sectors.”

Teaming up with Visit Britain, representatives from Liverpool also hosted private tours of the Liverpool 2018 team yacht, which will return home to the city on 28 July, having completed the full Clipper Race circumnavigation.

Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who is celebrating 49 years since becoming the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the globe, headed up a question and answer session with GREAT Britain Skipper David Hartshorn and Liverpool 2018 Skipper Lance Shepherd. The session covered everything from life on board to talking tactics, although both Skippers were keeping their cards close to their chests when asked about upcoming race moves.

Sir Robin concluded the evening, saying: “I am so very proud of our Skippers’ outstanding professionalism which kept everyone safe, and also that after almost a month of racing, the action came right down to the final miles. Just five minutes separated two of the teams which is quite something.”

The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the very best of what the UK has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK. For the GREAT Britain campaign, the Clipper 2017-18 Race is about projecting Britain’s values, as much as its opportunities for business.

The 2018 International Business Festival is the world’s biggest business festival. Hosted every two years in its home city of Liverpool, the festival captures the dynamism and diversity of the global marketplace. The goal is to give companies the space, support and expertise they need to make connections, create new business and realise their potential.

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