Prince William has told business leaders that the United Kingdom should look ahead to the future and ramp up efforts to strengthen its trading relations around the world.
Speaking at Lancaster House to launch the 2018 International Business Festival in Liverpool, the Duke of Cambridge announced his patronage of the event – which will bring together businesses from all over the world – before moving to stress the need to explore new trading opportunities.
“As we look to the future, we all recognise just how important it will be that we work to build connections with trading partners all around the world – strengthening links with old friends and creating new opportunities.
“The UK’s prosperity relies on its wealth of innovative and ambitious small and medium-sized businesses. Whenever I have had the chance to meet the people who run such enterprises, I have been struck by their ingenuity, drive and commitment. They demonstrate the best qualities of our national character.”
William also called on British firms to invest in developing a skilful generation through training and mentoring and help them find new opportunities to thrive.
“We know that one of the major challenges for business is access to a skilled workforce. The International Business Festival has a vital role in encouraging businesses to become further involved in the training and mentoring of young people in enterprise.”
Welcoming the statement, Max Steinberg, Chairman of the International Business Festival, said that the royal efforts would be “a huge boost to our presence in key international markets, helping us to attract even more delegations to Liverpool next June.”
The Prince’s comments are likely to be interpreted as a reference to trade deals that the UK look to clinch with Commonwealth and other countries after Brexit. His trips to Poland and German in June were referred to in the press as ‘charm offensive’ that the UK government is using as ‘soft power’ to explore post-Brexit opportunities.
In Germany, the Prince said the two nations wanted to establish a friendship that would last a lifetime.