The Kent Business Summit returned for a third time today (Friday) focusing on sustainable economic growth in the county and beyond.
The event was opened by Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development Mike Whiting who highlighted the work he is spearheading with the county’s European neighbours.
Mr Whiting said: “We are committed to continuing our support for Kent companies to export and access overseas markets, particularly as we head towards the UK’s new International trading landscape and our work with our European neighbours remains strong.
“Just before Christmas I met with elected representatives from Zeeland, West Flanders, the departments of Nord and Pas de Calais and with a senior adviser to the President of Hauts-de-France and together we agreed to establish a Straits Committee.
“This will strengthen and build on our relationship and our trade links and we will be launching this exciting venture next month.
“Our immediate priorities will be economic development, climate change and green growth, as well as supporting and encouraging young people into the world of business, with innovation central to all these priorities.
“We will support the development of a smart borders solution to keep our businesses trading and to build our local economies further.”
The Kent Business Summit, which takes place at the University of Kent, brings together business leaders, local government and academic experts to discuss challenges and promote Kent as a sustainable, innovative, forward-thinking and outward-looking county.
Mr Whiting added: “The future of Kent’s businesses is our priority and we want to see thriving and productive companies in the county.
“Working with these businesses, we want to shape a renewed strategy for business and economic development and later this year we will be launching our Enterprise and Productivity Strategy consultation, outlining our response to the productivity challenge.”
Speakers alongside Mr Whiting were Phil Eckersley from the Bank of England; Jagjit Chadha, professor of economics at the university and director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research; Benita Matofska, author of Generation Share: The Change-makers Building the Sharing Economy; and Jill Rutter, senior research fellow at the UK in a Changing Europe.