Conference focuses on world stage

Mar 19, 2007

Business Without Borders has been organised by the University of Bedfordshire’s Centre for Competitiveness and will feature high-profile speakers and the presentation of some exclusive research on global and regional competitiveness by leading UK economist Dr Rebecca Harding.

The day-long event will culminate in the presentation of the Business Without Borders Awards to companies of all sizes throughout the UK which have displayed innovation, creativity and business excellence.

Conference chairman Derek Ludlow (pictured) called on local companies to put themselves forward for the awards. He also enthused about the quality of the conference programme.

Business without Borders Awards chairman Professor Alan Barrell said: "In the global economy, national and regional borders no longer represent barriers to trade. We invite applications and nominations for a unique range of prestigious awards which recognise innovation and excellence, with a special emphasis on competitive success in the international business environment."

Jeff Tucker, a former SME Diversity Award winner who runs an international trade publishing company in Cambridgeshire, added: "These awards have great gravitas within the international business community."

Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, has been invited to address the conference on Britain, Europe and the global economy, to be followed by the presentation of research into international competitiveness carried out at the University of Bedfordshire.

More than 100 delegates are expected to attend and will also hear case studies from Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Dr Sergio Arzeni, director of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, will discuss his organisation’s work and Royal Bank of Scotland chief economist Ross Walker will assess the UK’s competitiveness in relation to the rest of the world.

Mr Ludlow said that, with 17,000 students from 142 countries and London Luton Airport on its doorstep, the university was the most suitable place to host such a prestigious event. "Whatever business you are involved in, it is increasingly an internationally competitive climate. This needs to be something that is addressed as soon as possible for regional business in partnership with international businesses.

"How the sub-regions live, cope and prosper in their own countries is very important to us. We are a region and we want to hear from other regions about how they cope with the challenges they face."
Sponsors of the Business Without Borders conference include UK Trade & Investment, the European Union, the Government Office for the East of England, Vauxhall, Luton Borough Council and the Bedfordshire & Luton Economic Development Partnership.

For more information on the conference and how to enter the awards, visit

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