It has been quite a month. While the world is a considerably different place than it was the last time I wrote to you, I think we can agree that the only thing we know for sure is that everything always changes.
I would first like to thank all of you who have engaged with the IoD in the build up to the referendum and since the result was announced. Your responses to our Policy Voice surveys, and contributions at the meetings we have held across the country are vital in shaping our response to such events. They allow us to represent you and British business as a whole.
During the past month, the IoD also held its Annual General Meeting and parliamentary reception. I would like to thank those members who took the time to attend the AGM and engaged with the board on the issues raised there.
The parliamentary reception, graciously hosted by Caroline Spellman MP and The Rt. Hon Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport provided the IoD with the opportunity to discuss some of our thoughts on the results of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. What is clear now is that regardless of one’s opinion on the result, we must now work together to deal with the new reality. Now is not the time for recriminations, it is time for reconciliation and above all for resilience. With change and challenges comes opportunity, and it is important for the IoD to provide a clear voice for business in the weeks and months ahead. Britain’s history is one of trade and engagement with the world and I am confident that British business will use its resourcefulness to confront the challenges that it now faces, and will prevail.
The IoD will continue to argue forcefully for the benefits of an open outlook on the world, and push our political leaders for a better quality of debate on the issues that we saw during the referendum campaign. As one door closes, others open, which brings me to my next point.
The upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil brings with it a new opportunity, not just for national sporting glory but also for the chance to explore an economic market that for many will be brand new. In my role as a business ambassador for UKTI I have been made aware of an initiative that Her Majesty’s Government, the Greater London Authority and the British Olympic Association will be undertaking during the Olympics: the aptly named ‘British House.’ Open from 5-21 August the house aims to celebrate Team GB’s performance and showcase the best of London and the UK to the world. With invitations targeted at a high-profile audience of business leaders, policy makers and politicians this is a unique opportunity whether you’re looking to promote your product or attract investment. Indeed, the compelling programme of events covers almost every major sector, including: investment, major sporting events, energy, education, science & innovation, global cities, start-ups, culture and the creative industries.
This will all take place in the magnificent surroundings of Parque Lage, one of Rio’s most iconic locations situated in the botanical gardens at the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue. Businesses that would like to register their details for this should visit www.britishhouserio.com.