At a time of economic uncertainty, with Brexit looming, Reading’s business community is invited to hear international perspectives on Reading’s place in the world economy.
Organised by Reading UK, the Reading Economic Forum on November 1 will assess how the Reading economy is performing, how the borough is perceived internationally and what can be learned from the experience of partners and competitors.
Keynote speaker is Mike Skelton from Reading’s US twin business city, Richardson Texas. Richardson is known as Telecomm Corridor and is home to many of the world’s largest global telecommunications companies, including Verizon, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, Rockwell Collins and Texas Instruments, all of which also have offices in Reading.
Skelton is director of the mayor’s office of international business, Richardson Economic Development Partnership and as the US lead on Richardson’s business twinning with Reading, is ideally placed to offer a perspective from across the pond on Reading’s attractiveness to US investment and the opportunities for Reading-based companies to develop in the US market in the current economic climate.
Reading businesses will also hear international perspectives from Peter Hart, CEO of Austin Fraser, specialist IT, engineering and life sciences recruitment agency based in Reading, who will be talking about the opportunities and challenges of opening offices in the US and Germany; Reading UK board member and partner at Peter Brett Associates, Scott Witchalls will be talking about Reading’s drive to become an internationally competitive ‘smart city’.
Adam Jacobs, chair of Reading UK, will also be reflecting on successes in the Reading economy over the past 12 months in line with the Reading 2050 Vision. Jacobs said: “Reading has being doing business successfully around the world for hundreds of years. In recent years, there has been more foreign investment from the US than any other single country, which has played a vital part in Reading’s economic success. As we approach potential major changes in the UK’s trading relationships with Europe, this year’s Reading Economic Forum will focus on Reading’s place in the wider world economy, our strengths and the opportunities and potential challenges facing us.”
Reading Economic Forum will be chaired by Alastair Fee, the BBC’s business correspondent for the South of England. The event is free to attend for businesses in the Greater Reading area and will include networking opportunities. The Forum takes place at Reading Town Hall on Thursday November 1, starting at 6pm. Register to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org