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The Future of the Economy: Have Your Say

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 21 Mar 2024

The future of the economy may sound like an awfully big topic – and one you can’t influence. But in fact these conversations – and some great networking opportunities that go with them - are within your reach!

We’re talking about  the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Global Annual Conference 2024, on 27th June, which will feature speakers from the world of politics, business, and beyond.

Here’s a brief overview of the topics that will be tackled, and where your input, if you choose to attend, will help build a better future for the UK’s business, economy, and people.

What will be discussed?

The conference will be centred around five key breakout sessions:

  • People and Work
  • Global Britain
  • Digital Revolution
  • Green Innovation
  • Local Economy of the Future

It will also feature exhibition space, delivering a high-quality opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services. 

Here’s our take on the topics that’ll be covered.

People and Work: challenges afoot and ahead

The shortage of workers, and the skills gap, are two themes that have loomed large in BCC’s and our own conversations with businesses in the UK of late.

How do we bridge the skills gap? How do we ensure both young people and career restarters are equipped with the key skills employers need?

And how do we organise work in ways that benefit from the productivity learnings of the pandemic (e.g. the value of homeworking) without losing worker engagement?

Global Britain: our place on the world stage

Ensuring the UK sells to the world, and ensuring the world sees our islands as a great place to do business, will be the dual themes of this session, focusing on supporting exporters and making the UK one of the world’s most attractive investment propositions.

Despite recent challenges, some indicators show that export is, nonetheless, growing. The Government’s latest figures show 1,000 more companies exporting goods compared to the previous year, and 1,000 more companies exporting to the EU.

Putting Brexit challenges behind us and developing policy to help position the UK strongly in inward investment markets are likely to be key points in this session. 

Digital Revolution: ensuring SMEs benefit

The digital economy has moved up a gear recently, with artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, accelerating many business processes.

However, many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may be missing out, owing to poor infrastructure, a lack of skills, or limited technology guidance.

Reversing this shortfall will be a focus in this session.

Green Innovation: the colour of the new economy

Delivering on net zero is a goal that concerns us all, but green innovation is also a huge commercial opportunity!

The fast-growing global demand for environmental products and services is projected to  deliver up to £170 billion of export sales in goods and services for the UK by 2030.

Developing green innovation accelerators and supply chains, and providing training and support on net zero, will feature prominently in this session.

Local Economy of the Future: a home for business

And finally, the UK’s towns and cities are the cradle of business performance and economic growth - but often, local policies and planning processes stand in the way of these towns and cities’ development.

This negatively impacts on businesses’ ability to serve communities and evolve within them.

This session will explore how local policy must adapt now to create the thriving, business-friendly communities of the future. 

For more information on the BCC Global Annual Conference 2024, and to book your place, click here. To become a Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce member, just call our friendly team on 01582 522448. 

Topics: Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, British Chambers of Commerce, Global Annual Conference

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