His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will be the patron of the 2018 International Business Festival to be held in Liverpool next June.

The festival will bring together businesses from across the country and around the world to access practical advice, make connections and hear inspirational presentations from industry experts.

In a speech announcing his patronage, The Duke of Cambridge praised British business, saying that the UK’s prosperity relied on their ingenuity and dynamism. The Duke, who has championed UK trade via the GREAT campaign in China, Japan and the United States, said that as we look to the future it was important that the UK builds trading partners around the world – strengthening links with old friends and creating new opportunities.

The Duke of Cambridge made the announcement in front of an audience of senior business and Government leaders as well as entrepreneurs behind some of the small and medium-sized enterprises, which have participated in previous editions of the International Business Festival.

Max Steinberg, chairman of the International Business Festival, said: “Having the Duke on board as festival patron will be a huge boost to our presence in key international markets, helping us to attract even more delegations to Liverpool next June. As we look to our future, and the new global trading relationships the UK will need to build moving forwards, the International Business Festival is more important than ever – and the support of His Royal Highness is hugely welcome.”

The International Business Festival, which is supported by the UK Government through the Department for International Trade, will be held across nine days over three weeks from June 12-28 June, with each day’s programme focused on a high-growth industry – from manufacturing to sustainable energy.

The festival will also play host to a range of high profile third-party events – including the SheTrades Forum, the world’s biggest women’s entrepreneurs conference organised by the UN and WTO.