Birmingham’s bid team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games has unveiled its plans to showcase the best of UK industry and business to a global audience.
It is intended that Business Expo 2022, and the associated five-year enterprise and industry programme building up to it, would form a key part of the legacy left by a Games in the English city.
Birmingham 2022 claims Business Expo 2022 will create inter-connecting opportunities between Commonwealth nations and key global markets from the United States, Middle East, China and non-Brexit Europe as Britain sets out its future outside the European Union.
Among the main elements of the programme will be a four-day conference and exhibition, attracting 10,000 delegates from Commonwealth nations, core markets, core industry sectors and UK sectors,featuring Ministerial-level representatives and business leaders.
Others include the Business Expo 2022 Thought Leadership Conference, showcasing new keynote research commissioned specifically for the expo into "The future of industry, business opportunities in UK post-Brexit".
Another element is lead-up expos in 2019 and 2021.
They will be smaller-scale regional events combining relevant business themes with a trade fair and conference to showcase the UK as a business and investment destination.
An education and technology programme, linked to the future of industry and enterprise, is also due to be developed in conjunction with university partners and school partnerships.
Business Expo 2022 will be hosted at the internationally-recognised National Exhibition Centre (NEC), situated on a site also including the Genting Arena.
With a combined total of 200,000 square metres, it is the UK’s, and one of Europe’s, largest indoor facilities.
Business Expo 2022 would take place prior to the Commonwealth Games in an attempt to optimise the extent of the indoor space that the partnership with NEC Group affords, along with connectivity and accessibility.
Leading universities in the region - Aston, Birmingham, Birmingham City, Coventry, Warwick and Wolverhampton - provide thought leadership in sectors such as advanced engineering, business professional and financial services, food and drink, life sciences, and technology and digital, all of which will be leveraged for the programme.
"The business community in Greater Birmingham will fully support this initiative," Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and member of Birmingham 2022 bid team, said.
"It presents a huge range of opportunities for all businesses and the bid itself will bring a focus on Birmingham at a time when it is driving its importance on the global stage.
"The Games are recognised as having the potential to generate in excess of £390 million ($503 million/€422 million) for the local economy, create thousands of jobs and catapult the region onto the global stage."
Birmingham is battling against Liverpool to secure the English nomination for the Games after Durban lost the rights due to a lack of financial guarantees.
A decision is due to be made by Commonwealth Games England next month.
England is now in pole position to step in after Canadian city Victoria ended its bid earlier this week because the Provincial Government declined to support it.
Kuala Lumpur had also been tipped to bid but is at the moment still seeking support from the Malaysian Government.
Support for Birmingham’s bid comes from a broad range of sectors, including financial services, legal, property, technology, manufacturing, leisure and entertainment, luxury brands and consumer goods.
"Birmingham is a dynamic city with a strong track record of hosting major events and it would make a fantastic host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games," Antonio Simoes, chief executive of HSBC Bank plc, said.
"Our roots in the UK began in Birmingham over 180 years ago and we chose the city as the home of HSBC UK’s new head office because of its strong connectivity at the heart of the UK and its ongoing revitalisation.
"We want to build a better bank for our customers and people.
"A successful bid would be great news for local businesses, the local economy and the Midlands region as a whole."
Sir Dominic Cadbury, a British businessman and member of the Birmingham-founded Cadbury chocolate manufacturing dynasty, added: "The city of Birmingham's economic and cultural renaissance increasingly attracts global interest and investment.
"Its prestige institutions facilities services and location make it a world class candidate to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games."
The Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has created a Commonwealth Business Association to reach out to Commonwealth nations wishing to trade with Birmingham-based businesses.