By Daniel Hunter

The Prime Minister confirmed today (Friday) that top international and UK business leaders including Christine Lagarde, Eric Schmidt, Daniel Ek, Howard Stringer and Sir Martin Sorrell will be taking part in the British Business Embassy - a series of global business summits to be held during the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The British Business Embassy, developed by UK Trade & Investment as part of the GREAT campaign, will help showcase global business partnerships along with the best of what the UK has to offer in some of our most successful industries such as fashion, architecture, technology, life sciences, advanced engineering, automotive and aerospace.

The programme begins with a Global Investment Conference followed by a series of sector days to be held at Lancaster House between 26 July and 9 September 2012. Each event will involve UK based and international business leaders from emerging and developed countries meeting with a broad range of British companies including mid-sized businesses and SMEs.

Firms that have signed up so far include Airbus, Alliance Boots, AMEC, ARM, Arup, ASOS, AstraZeneca, Atkins, Autonomy, Barclays, Beggars Group, Bharti Airtel, BHP Biliton, BG Group, BT, Burberry, Cisco Systems, Diageo, EDF, Embraer Executive Jets, Facebook, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, Ideo, Intel, Imagination Technologies, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Kraft, Mother, Marks and Spencer, Pearson, M&C Saatchi, Mott Macdonald, NEC, Nestle, Nissan, Pinewood Studios, Rolls Royce, Shell, Sony Corporation, Siemens, TalkTalk, Telefonica, Vodafone, Warner Brothers, Working Title and WPP.

There will also be two country-specific events promoting trade with prior Olympic hosts China and the next hosts, Brazil.

“The Olympics will not only bring the world’s best athletes and thousands of sports fans to our country, but the major business players are coming too," Prime Minister David Cameron said.

"This once in a lifetime occasion will provide UK companies with more than a billion pounds business opportunity. The conference and these events will place the UK at the forefront in addressing the challenges facing the global economy, and a chance to showcase UK business, secure new trade and inward investment and give our economy a major boost.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: 

"The British Business Embassy provides an unmissable opportunity to show why Britain is the ideal place to invest and do business. The range of companies who have signed up is testament to the diverse talent we have here and I am sure that all those attending will find it a rewarding experience.”

Minister for UK Trade & Investment, Lord Stephen Green said: “London 2012 offers a fantastic opportunity to enhance the UK's reputation as an experienced and dynamic business partner. This is a chance to showcase what is 'Great' about our country and demonstrate our world class expertise in the execution and delivery of the most high profile sporting event to a global audience.”

The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Chancellor, Business Secretary, Culture Secretary and other ministers will all be hosting sessions during the British Business Embassy.

The series of events during Games time will include:

Global Investment Conference 
Opening the Government’s Olympic business programme, the Global Investment Conference will take place on Thursday July 26th and seek to address the challenges facing global business by bringing together top global decision-makers with around 200 business leaders, policy makers and investors from around the world.

IMF Managing Director General Christine Lagarde will join forces with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurría and many of their peers to forge a path to future growth. Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch, Barclays CEO Bob Diamond, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, GSK CEO Andrew Witty and HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver, will be joined by other global CEOs and major investors to discuss how to encourage lasting business partnerships.

Global Business Summits to highlight global business partnerships and to give UK based companies the opportunity to grow their business internationally and to help attract inward investment into the UK, the Government will host a series of Global Business Summits from July 26th to September 9th 2012.

Focusing on a different high growth global sector, country or sports related issue each day, the programme includes summits on: Advertising, Media, Design and Architecture (July 30th); Film, Fashion, TV, Games and Music (July 31st), Education (Aug 1st), Healthcare and Life Sciences (Aug 2nd), Tech, Telecom and Internet (Aug 3rd), Energy (Aug 6th and 7th), Infrastructure (Aug 8th) Retail, Food and Drink (Aug 9th) and Aerospace, Automotive and Advanced Engineering (Aug 10th).

There will also be two country specifics events promoting trade with the prior Olympic hosts China and with the next hosts Brazil. During the Paralympics the Government will host the second International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Academy Inclusion Summit. Government ministers will support each of the sector summits giving companies the opportunity to engage with UK Government at the highest level, providing a real forum for debate and discussion.

Key speakers and panellists across the conference series include figures in the creative industries such as Sir Martin Sorrell CEO of WPP, Sir Jonathan Ive Senior Vice President of Design at Apple, Christopher Bailey of Burberry, Sir Howard Stringer Chairman of Sony Corporation, Daniel Ek of Spotify, and Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan of Working Title.

Speakers in Healthcare and Life Sciences will include Lord Darzi, David Brennan CEO of AstraZeneca and Sir William Castell Chairman of the Wellcome Trust. In Technology, Ian Livingston CEO of BT will be joined by Mark Thompson DG of the BBC, Ronan Dunne CEO of Telefonica UK, Warren East CEO of ARM, and Hossein Yassaie CEO of Imagination Technologies.

Energy speakers will include, Bob Dudley CEO of BP, Samir Brikho, CEO AMEC plc, Andrew Mackenzie CEO of BHP Biliton and Andrew Gould Chairman of BG Group. Representing the Infrastructure sector, Terry Hill of Arup will take to the stand.

In Retail, Paul Walsh CEO of Diageo, John Brock from Coca Cola Enterprises and David North from Tesco will speak along with executives from Alliance Boots, Marks & Spencer, Nestle Health and Science and Nick Robertson CEO of ASOS.

The session on Advanced Engineering, Aerospace and Automotive will include Barry Eccleston, CEO of Airbus Americas, Colin Smith, Director of Engineering & Technology at Rolls Royce, Jonathan Neale, MD of McLaren Racing, John Martin, SVP Supply Chain management and manufacturing at Nissan Europe, Neil McManus, VP and MD of Spirit Aerosystems Europe, Philip Bouverat, Director at JCB, Ken Gregor, CFO at Jaguar Land Rover and the CEO of GKN, Nigel Stein.

Regional and International Activity

To widen the reach and impact of the events taking place at Lancaster House, key sessions from each day will be streamed live nationally and internationally. Many of the UKTI regional teams, consulates and embassies around the world will be hosting their own British Business Embassy events to bring together local businesses.

The British Business Club 
The British Business Club is the on-line platform for companies seeking to make the most of business networking and activity around the Games. The British Business Club brings together UK and overseas businesses, boosting the opportunities for companies to make beneficial international business connections.

Members of the British Business Club, who come to London during the Games, will be given temporary membership of the Institute of Directors (IoD). This will allow them to use the IoD’s facilities in Pall Mall during their stay and highlights how the British Business Club is helping businesses connect during Games time.

Startup Games
During the Paralympic Games, up to 300 of the world's most exciting new businesses will be invited to take part in the StartUp Games event. Hosted in Tech City, the StartUp Games will give entrepreneurs the chance to share in the Olympic atmosphere and experience for themselves the fantastic facilities of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the innovative culture of Tech City, while competing to be recognised amongst the world's highest potential startups.

The Tech City Investment Organisation will organise the StartUp Games, working alongside partners including StartUp Britain and the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which will also allow new UK startups the chance to learn from some of the best from around the world, and provide the finalists the support they might need to bring their businesses to Tech City.

Do you trade in other countries and do you want to raise the profile of your company? Then apply for the 2012 International Trade Awards and propel your business into new markets and accelerated growth.

Now in their fifth year, the 2012 International Trade Awards sponsored by American Express Foreign Exchange Services is the only UK wide business awards to exclusively recognise the success of exporters, importers and those trading overseas.

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