By Maximilian Clarke

EEF, the UK’s foremost manufacturing lobby, is hosting a conference which is to be attended by Ed Miliband and business secretary Vince Cable, as well as a separate Manufacturing Dinner which will play host to Chancellor George Osborne.

The events will take place in time for the 2012 budget; giving manufacturers the opportunity to voice their concerns about the economy.

The conference, which is sponsored by Lombard and delivered in partnership with The Manufacturer and Infor, will take place in the heart of Westminster at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, followed by the dinner at the Dorchester Hotel.

“The timing of the conference, just ahead of the Budget, is absolutely critical,” Terry Scuoler, EEF Chief Executive. “It will be a powerful rally call to government to place manufacturing at the heart of its strategy for growth and to present a visionary Budget that bolsters economic recovery through bold measures to support industrial expansion and international trade.

“Our conference theme is ‘Competitiveness in the Global Economy’ and it will be a rare opportunity for the country’s manufacturing leaders to gather together to challenge political decision makers on the issues that matter most, share best practice, stimulate debate, solve problems, and gain industry insights and connections.”

Other speakers include Sir Richard Needham, Director of Dyson and former Minister of Trade; Declan Curry, business journalist and presenter; Alexander Baldock, Managing Director of Lombard; Andrew Kinder, Product Marketing Director, Infor, and Terry Scuoler.

The conference will feature panel discussions and a choice of best practice workshops led by exemplary manufacturing businesses, covering topics such as innovation, exporting, and investment. There will be plenty of opportunity for manufacturers to network and learn from their peers.

The seismic shifts in manufacturing and the global competitive landscape will be explored. Some of the big questions posed will include: how can we ensure UK manufacturing remains competitive? Should government do more to promote growth and support manufacturing directly? What more can be done to improve competitiveness in key areas such as tax, skills, regulation and energy?

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