SCCI Chief Executive joins Key South Yorkshire Stakeholders to Represent the Region Overseas

6th November 2023

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Executive Louisa Harrison-Walker has visited the American state of Missouri as part of a delegation led by South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard.

The trip’s aim was to start conversations about boosting trade between South Yorkshire and the city of St Louis.

Leaders from South Yorkshire’s business community and ambassadors from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority were brought together in-person and virtually, for conversations with partners in St Louis.

Delegates included representatives from the health and digital sectors, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Capital Enterprise, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield’s Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and Barnsley DMC.

St Louis, known for its industrial background, and for being the home to the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency (NGA), is an innovative city in the process of reinventing itself.

The city, which already has connections to the University of Sheffield, is developing its own Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Corridor with a new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMRC) based on South Yorkshire’s own world leading AMRC. Like South Yorkshire, Boeing has expanded its tech operations there too.

The South Yorkshire delegation is committed to building a similar world-class manufacturing ecosystem in South Yorkshire, and conversations explored links for knowledge exchange, trade, and investment.

Louisa Harrison-Walker, CEO of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: 

“The Chambers across South Yorkshire are built on the foundations that working collaboratively provides the strongest and best results for all parties involved, whether that’s across our region or further afield. As a representative of the three South Yorkshire Chambers on the Mayor’s Business Advisory Board, I was pleased to accept the mayor’s invitation to join the delegation visiting St Louis.”

“Innovation is at the heart of economic renewal and growth. The conversations not only focussed on advanced manufacturing but how cities like St Louis are creating the conditions for innovation-led growth to benefit the wider economy. How we too build connections between innovation assets in South Yorkshire and the wider economy will be key to us building a resilient and balanced economy.”

This is the first overseas trip taken on behalf of Sheffield Chamber following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is important that we do not lose sight of the opportunities and challenges at home in the city, but Sheffield Chamber is clear we also need to lift our gaze and look at what others are doing overseas,”

added Louisa.

“We need to build connections globally and we need to be confident to acknowledge we must learn from other cities.”

She hopes the upcoming South Yorkshire International Trade Conference will continue to build momentum as the region develops as a home for businesses exporting world-class products and services.

Led by Sheffield’s International Trade Centre, as part of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with all three South Yorkshire Chambers it will take place at the OEC Sheffield on the 15 November.

The conference will bring together leaders (including Louisa Harrison-Walker and Oliver Coppard), industry experts, and experienced businesses from various industries and sectors across South Yorkshire.

With collaboration in mind, the event aims to foster International Trade connections, promote trade opportunities, and allow businesses to expand their knowledge of best practices when exporting and importing in the global marketplace.

Tickets sales end on 8 November. For more information and to register for the conference, please visit: https://www.scci.org.uk/events/south-yorkshire-international-trade-conference-2023/

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