Hull’s status as an international business destination is coming under the spotlight.
Eric R. Dahl, chief executive of the New York-based World Trade Centers Association, will meet business leaders and members of the City of Culture team on Monday (September 29) to assess the city as a potential venue for his organisation’s main annual event, the General Assembly.
The assembly, held in Mumbai and Bucharest in the last two years, attracts hundreds of delegates from more than 90 countries, and World Trade Centre Hull & Humber wants to host it as a major City of Culture legacy event in 2018.
Lindsay West, a director of the World Trade Centre, said that Hull could put forward a strong case after its successful switch four years ago from being publicly funded to a not-for-profit organisation.
“This has been key,” he said. “When we moved to near Humber Street four years ago the area was very different from how it is now, it was extremely quiet and was suffering from the fallout of the global recession.
“The move showed the business community’s commitment to regeneration and it significantly raised the profile and potential of this part of the city.
“It is all about regenerating the economy through stimulating business, which the World Trade Centers Association does on a global scale.
“Having the General Assembly here would be another major boost for the economy of the entire region.”
Mr Dahl will visit the WTCHH to hear about the successful City of Culture bid and meet representatives from the Bondholders, Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, Team Humber Marine Alliance and UKTI who are based there.
He will also see Platform Studios, which Mr West has set up to encourage budding entrepreneurs in the digital gaming sector. He will hear how the WTC is promoting the sector as a conduit to international trade and about the plans for the forthcoming Platform Expos in November and for a special event to mark Hull 2017.
He will also visit ABP’s Greenport site and meet Hull City of Culture chairman Rosie Millard at a luncheon reception hosted by The Lord Mayor and Hull City Council.
World Trade Centre Hull & Humber set the ball rolling for the General Assembly bid with a fact-finding mission by Philip Tighe of Garthwest, to this year’s event in Bucharest.
Following Mr Dahl’s visit, Mr West will speak in New York at a World Trade Centers Europe, Middle East and Africa session in October.
“We are preparing the ground for our formal bid for 2018, which must be submitted by next April,” he said.
Mr Dahl, who holds dual American and Norwegian nationality, has been CEO of World Trade Centers Association since July 2012. He has more than 30 years’ experience in developing, advising, and operating international companies in Europe, USA, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East.
World Trade Centre Hull and Humber is a not-for-profit business funded through private sector partners with support from Hull City Council, The Humber LEP and UK Trade and Investment. Its partners are Garthwest, Andrew Jackson, Neill & Brown Global Logistics, Henderson Insurance Brokers, Mapa PR, Smailes Goldie Chartered Accountants, Language is Everything, HSBC and Select Group and KC.