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LIVERPOOL JUNE-JULY 2014

IFB
NEWS

FROM BEIJING TO BEIRUT - 200 CITY LEADERS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD GATHERED IN LIVERPOOL THIS WEEK FOR FIRST EVENT OF ITS KIND

BT Global City Leaders' Summit addressed the metropolitan revolution taking place across the globe

More than 200 leaders from the world’s capital cities gathered this week in Liverpool for a unique event, to debate the evolution and growth of global cities from the age of austerity to prosperity.

For the first time in history the majority of the world’s population lives in a city, and according to the World Health Organisation, seven out of every 10 people worldwide will live in an urban area by 2050.

The BT Global City Leaders’ Summit explored the obstacles and opportunities of the international metropolitan revolution.

At the event, which took place at St George’s Hall on Wednesday 18 June, the Rt. Hon. Greg Clark M.P., UK Government Minister of State for Cities, offered a UK government perspective on cities and growth, to an audience of over 300 delegates from all corners of the globe.

He was joined by leaders from some of the world’s premier cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Istanbul, Beirut, Bogota, Quito and Rabat, among others.

They discussed the critical challenges faced by metropolitan hubs around the world and the important role of cities in driving global economic growth.

Speakers at the event also included:

  • Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group Plc
  • Bruce Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institution, Washington D.C
  • Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, University of Liverpool, Chair
  • David Pichilingi, CEO, Sound City
  • Bilal Hamad, Mayor of Beirut
  • Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul, President of UCLG
  • Gustavo Petro, Mayor of Bogotá
  • Ms. Zhao Wen, Vice Mayor of Shanghai
  • Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat, Treasurer of UCLG
  • Maty Mint Hamady, Mayor of Nouakchott
  • Catherine Cullen, Deputy Mayor of Lille, Chair of UCLG Committee on Culture & UCLG Representative
  • Liu Jigang, Vice Chairman of Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People’s Congress
  • Joe Anderson OBE, Mayor of Liverpool

The summit also included a session about the role of culture in a city economy, with a panel that included the multi-award-winning chief conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko.

To close the event, Mr Petrenko led his orchestra in a performance in the St George’s Hall Concert Room.

Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group Plc, who was speaking on the power of communications, commented: “It’s testimony to the ambition of the Festival that so many leaders from the world’s capital cities are gathering in one place to discuss the obstacles and opportunities of urban development and growth around the world.

“We are delighted to be welcoming these city leaders to Liverpool for one of the headline events of the International Festival for Business 2014, the biggest event of the year in the international business calendar, which we are proud to be supporting.”

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Cities are engines of growth and they are critical to the global economic recovery. This summit is one of the highlights of the festival, where we will debate the powers and responsibilities our cities need to deliver the best economic future for our communities.

“Importantly leaders from major cities across the UK will join us in Liverpool, helping  strengthen our relationships and joint work to ensure that it is not just London and the south east that are boosting the UK’s prospects, but the regions as well.”

The Summit was one of the signature events of the International Festival for Business 2014, the largest showcase of British business for 60 years, which is taking place across Liverpool and the North West throughout June & July. The Festival comprises over 300 different events running over 50 days across the key sectors driving the UK and international economic recovery.

Cities, enterprise and urban business is one of the key themes of the festival alongside manufacturing, science & technology; maritime, logistics & energy; knowledge, professional & financial services; higher & further education & research; low carbon & renewables; creative & digital.