Major transatlantic conference set for Birmingham

L/R: Russell Jeans, Professor Julian Beer, transatlantic business coordinator Lauren Hunt and Paul Faulkner in Chicago for last year's BABC conference.

Major transatlantic conference set for Birmingham

Birmingham has been chosen to host The British-American Business Council (BABC) annual conference which will take place from 6 – 8 of June.

The event will attract delegates from all over Britain and North America and businesses in Birmingham, led by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), will use the opportunity to explore new markets as Britain leaves the European Union.

The decision follows the success of Birmingham’s high-profile presence at last year’s conference, which was held in Chicago, when the Midlands Chapter of the BABC received wide praise for sending the largest delegation from a single city as well as demonstrating a significant level of interest in transatlantic trade that exists in the Midlands.

Professor Julian Beer, president of the BABC Midlands Chapter and deputy vice-chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “We are tremendously proud to have won the right to stage this important conference.

“It is vital that as a city and a country we explore new markets for the post-Brexit era and the BABC can play a vital role.

"Each year, the conference brings together members of its chapters to its annual transatlantic business conference for a two-day programme of high-level business discussions and networking among senior executives from a broad cross-section of business sectors.

“The conference was a huge success five years ago when it was last held in Birmingham and we’re delighted that the spotlight will again fall on the city.

“The transatlantic relationship will be of even greater importance post-Brexit.”

The conference is a highly sought-after occasion for which many of the American states and British cities bid. 

The event has previously been held in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC and Chicago.

The two-day event will be hosted at several venues across the city and includes an opening cocktail party as well as a gala dinner and main conference.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the GBCC, said: "Our large and influential presence in Chicago won us many friends and we are delighted that the BABC is bringing the conference back to Birmingham.

"We are extremely proud to win the right to hold the conference in the city and for the Chamber it is further confirmation of our growing international influence, not just in transatlantic trade but the rest of the world.

"We have just launched the Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce as part of a drive to promote a secure business across Commonwealth countries as we prepare for Brexit.

"The EU will remain a vitally important trading partner but our mission now is to strengthen our reach across the Atlantic and to the rest of the world through our International Hub.

"Team Birmingham did a great job in Chicago and we were credited by the BABC’s global president Tom Stevens as being a ‘substantive contributor to events’."

Mr Kehoe, chairman of the West Midlands Growth Company, added: "It’s all about connectivity and it’s vital that as we prepare for the post-Brexit world we get the name out there.

“The BABC conference is extremely important because we now have a very different role outside Europe."