Communities secretary Sajid Javid is leading the first Midlands Engine trade mission to the US and Canada - but without any council leaders or other local authority representatives in tow.
Mr Javid, joined by some of the region’s business executives, is meeting representatives of large companies to show how they could benefit by investing in the Midlands.
A Department for Communities & Local Government spokesman told LGC that there are no representatives from local government on the trip.
In September last year former chancellor George Osborne led a delegation, which included the local leaders of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Sheffield city councils, Cheshire East Council and Trafford MBC, to China in a bid to boost investment across the north of England. Sheffield City Council chief executive John Mothersole also went on the trip.
The visit to Chicago is a food and drink trade mission while Mr Javid will lead a roundtable discussion in Toronto, the DCLG spokesman said.
In a statement Mr Javid said: “For the first time ever we are bringing the Midlands Engine to the world stage.
“These aren’t just warm words – over the next 15 years, we plan to generate an additional £34bn for the Midlands economy.
“And with exports from the Midlands to both the US and Canada up significantly over the past five years, we have a strong record to build on.”
Between 2010 and 2015 exports from the Midlands to the US rose by 55% while exports from the Midlands to Canada rose by more than 11%.
In Chicago Sajid Javid is leading a ‘food and drink trade mission’ with 20 businesses from the Midlands including:
- Robin Mason, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) – The University of Birmingham
- Paul Faulkner, CEO – Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
- Bill Panesar, Managing Director Panesar Foods (West Bromich)
- Amreesh Mishra, Corporate Partnerships Senior Executive – The University of Nottingham
- Kapil Lathia, Commercial Director Asiana Ltd
- Guy Middleton, Director Holdsworth Chocolates
- Hilario Jesus, Business Development Manager – Blue Skies
- Jacqueline Champion, Managing Director Champion & Reeves Ltd
- Leanne Crowther, Sales Director – Flower & White
- Edward Taylor, Managing Director – Purition Ltd
- Richard Oke, Marketing Manager, Sleaford Quality Foods Ltd
- George Paul, Director/Owner, Bradburys Cheese Ltd
In Toronto the communities secretary is leading a round table with Estates Gazettes with:
- Sir Edward Lister, special adviser – Department of International Trade /chairman, Homes & Communities Agency (former deputy mayor for London)
- Stephen Down, head of central London and international investment, Savills
- Duncan Sutherland, executive director, Sigma Capital
- Kevin McCabe, founder, Scarborough Group International
- Lee Polisano, President and founding partner, PLP Architecture
- Stephen Barter, chairman, real estate advisory practice, KPMG
- Alex Greaves, residential fund manager, M&G
- Jonathan Harris, senior managing director/head of real estate – Europe, Macquarie Capital
- John Moffat, development director Capital & Centric
- Rasheed Hassan, director - cross border investment, Savills
- Damian Wild, editor, Estates Gazette
- Sayida Husain, head of capital investment, infrastructure - investor relations, developed markets, business operations, Department for International Trade
- Woody Heller, executive managing director and head of capital transactions group, Savills Studley
- Michael O’Callaghan, senior managing director U.S. capital markets, Savills Studley