GREATER Manchester’s new blueprint for engaging with countries and cities around the world to bring prosperity and tackle global challenges was unveiled yesterday (Thursday 24 March) at a launch event in Manchester.
The International Strategy sets out how Greater Manchester will use its global profile to boost trade links and create jobs, rebalance economic opportunities across the UK, and reinforce our reputation as a world-leading innovator in sectors like digital, tech, health, and advanced manufacturing. It also builds on Greater Manchester’s significant track record in global engagement and our strong existing relationships with countries around the world.
As the shockwaves of the pandemic and a devastating war in Ukraine continue to be felt, and as the UK pursues new trading relationships following its exit from the EU, the International Strategy will provide a framework for how Greater Manchester can navigate this changing world and work together with central Government, investors, and other city-regions. It also outlines our strengths in low-carbon technology and innovation, and how these strengths and investment in green infrastructure can make Greater Manchester a leader in tackling the climate crisis.
The International Strategy supports the aims set out in the Greater Manchester Strategy to make the city-region greener, fairer, and more prosperous, creating good lives for all and opportunities across the 10 boroughs.
Five priority areas have been identified for achieving these goals through increasing international engagement and collaboration:
- Trade – growing trade and enabling Greater Manchester’s businesses to compete on the world stage
- Investment – attracting investment and supporting the creation of good jobs and employment in our city-region
- Research and Innovation – fostering cross-border partnerships and promoting our world-leading strengths in digital, tech, health innovation, and low-carbon technologies
- The Visitor Economy – promoting our unique cultural and sporting heritage, recognised and celebrated around the world
- International Students – welcoming students from around the world to learn and grow at our prestigious universities
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester has always been a global city-region, at the heart of trade and diplomatic relations in the North. If the experience of the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that the challenges we face – from addressing the climate crisis, to tackling a pandemic, to responding to conflict – are global in scale, and require us to work in partnership to meet them.
“The International Strategy defines Greater Manchester’s place in this changing world. It sets out how our global reputation, our partnerships with cities and regions around the world, and our unique devolution model can make this a place that attracts people from around the world to visit, study, and do business. It also acts as a blueprint for ensuring this global outlook benefits our city-region, not just by supporting innovation and creating good jobs, but by opening up new opportunities for connection and collaboration across borders.”
Cllr Elise Wilson, GMCA Lead for the Economy, said: “The International Strategy is how Greater Manchester will connect with – and lead in – a changing world. Nowhere is better placed than Greater Manchester, at the heart of a resurgent North, to rise to the world’s challenges and contribute to Global Britain.
“Working as a collective to compete on the world stage is fundamental to growth across our city-region, to the creation of jobs, and to who we are: outward-looking, innovative, ambitious, and international.”
The launch of the International Strategy comes on the eve of a joint mission to Ireland led by the Mayor and his Liverpool City-Region counterpart Steve Rotheram, beginning on Monday 28 March. Taking place over two days, the aim of the visit is to strengthen trade and cultural links between Ireland and the North West – already in evidence through the Consulate General for the North of England and the Enterprise Ireland office based in Manchester.
Greater Manchester first published a three-year International Strategy in 2017, which established a series of objectives for the city-region, including boosting exports, securing new direct trade routes, and increasing our attractiveness as a place to invest, visit and study. A one-year strategy was published in October 2020, addressing the immediate and emergency challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.