Top business leaders confirmed as speakers at economic review launch

Simon Collinson

Leading business figures will be speaking at the upcoming launch of the Birmingham Economic Review.

Louise Stigant, Managing Director at Mondelez UK, Birmingham City Council’s Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale and GBSLEP Chair Tim Pile have been confirmed as speakers at the event taking place on 12 October.

The 2018 Birmingham Economic Review is an annual, leading assessment of Birmingham’s economic geography, skills, key sectors and opportunities and challenges facing the region.

The report is produced by University of Birmingham City-Region Economic Development Institute (City-REDI) in partnership with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC).

Framed around the five pillars of the Industrial Strategy, the review will support businesses’ decision making regarding investment and opportunities in the region.

The launch, taking place at the Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre, will feature an overview of its main findings, followed by the high-profile panel providing their views on the city-region and the findings of the research.

Saqib Bhatti, President of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) and honorary chairman of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce will chair the event.

Professor Simon Collinson (pictured), Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for Regional Economic Engagement, director of the City-REDI and professor of International Business and Innovation at the University of Birmingham will be providing the expert overview of the report’s findings.

He said: “This year’s Birmingham Economic Review reflects the fact that our local economy is growing faster, but also showing signs of better, more inclusive growth. Productivity and inward investment are up and we are attracting more new firms and talented people than at any time in the recent past. But we still remain weak in terms of having low levels of skills and high levels of unemployment and inequality. A no-deal Brexit is likely to exacerbate these problems while a robust regional industrial strategy driven by and for local people would provide us with opportunities to continue the renaissance.

“I am very pleased to welcome our partner, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, our excellent panel of speakers and guests to the University of Birmingham. Not only will we have a stimulating and informative discussion, but we look forward to hosting you in our brand-new hotel and conference centre on the Edgbaston Park campus.”

Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “I am delighted that Louise, Dawn and Tim will be able to share their insights on our city-region at the launch of this year’s Birmingham Economic Review.

“Their varied perspectives will contribute to a fascinating discussion on the economic landscape of the city. Louise will of course speak from the standpoint of a multinational business employing around 2,000 staff in Bournville and over 80,000 staff world-wide. Dawn will provide a policy perspective, drawing on an extensive career in local government, and her position as chief executive of the largest local authority in Europe.

“Tim’s varied background in retail, banking, professional services and marketing, his experience of Birmingham as a former Chamber President and his current position as chair of the GBSLEP will combine business and policy together as he shares his vision for the city-region.

“Fuelled by the analysis of the University of Birmingham City-REDI, the Birmingham Economic Review is an invaluable resource for businesses and policy makers in Birmingham. It provides an unbiased assessment of the city’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities ahead and threats to watch out for. I would strongly encourage anyone doing or looking to do business in the city to join us at the launch of the report.”

For further information and to register as a delegate at the launch please visit:

Please visit: to read the 2017 Birmingham Economic Review.