London companies will be given help to increase exports in the wake of the Olympic Games through a series of business summits, it has been announced.
Leading industry figures will address the summits to guide firms on how to take advantage of the international interest in the country generated by the Games.
UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has hailed the Olympic business legacy programme as the biggest such scheme it has ever put together.
It offers great networking opportunities because businesses from all around the world are coming to London to interact, meet and do business, UKTI said.
Firms will be helped to identify new export opportunities through the British Business Embassy programme, which will be a “powerful magnet” for international companies looking to invest.
Vince Cable, the business secretary, said: “The eyes of the world are on Britain this summer during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It will not only be an unparalleled sporting spectacle, but also a chance for companies from across the globe to interact and do business here in the UK.
“The Olympic business legacy programme will help British business identify new export opportunities and tell overseas investors why the UK is a great place for them to invest and grow. We are working hard to make sure the whole country can seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity.
“Trade and investment is critical to our economic recovery and future prosperity. We expect these events to generate at least £1bn for British businesses and they are vital to our efforts to secure a long-term return to sustainable growth.”
Business expert and international speaker Roger Harrop, of RogerHarrop.com, believes companies operating in the B2C (business to consumer) environment are more likely to benefit from the Games than B2B firms.
Despite being generally cautious about the impact the Olympics could have on firms, Harrop said: “You could say coming to the Olympics could be the excuse to do some deals while they are here.
“If they can get to the Olympics tax deductible from whatever country they are from, then they may do. It would be just like lots of deals being held back until the Farnborough Air Show.”
Harrop added: “It should certainly help because people are here in the UK and seeing us and the way we operate. They are bound to come across some of our companies, so the mere fact there is a lot of foreign people will help.”
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