Mayor vows to draw US business to Peterborough post Brexit after invite to international conference

California Congressman Scott Peters (left) with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor James Palmer
California Congressman Scott Peters (left) with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor James Palmer
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An international conference will help Peterborough secure more trade and investment post Brexit, according to the city’s elected mayor.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor James Palmer has received an official invitation from the British Ambassador to the United Sates, Sir Kim Darroch, to attend the conference taking place in Washington DC between January 24-26. The conference aims to deepen links between local elected officials in the US and UK.

Mayor Palmer said: “This conference is a fantastic opportunity to fly the flag for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on the international stage. The devolution agreement that established the mayoral position was quite clear that the postholder should look to stand up for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough not just on the national stage, but also the international stage.

“Brexit provides many challenges but also opportunities and with the exit date looming ever closer I’m keen that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough puts itself in the best possible position to exploit the opportunities that are likely to come our way and increased opportunities for trade and investment with the United States is a big part of this.

“We are fortunate enough to live in one of the most prosperous and economically dynamic parts of the country and this trip enables us to press the case for better and deeper trading links with cities across the United States.

“Last October, Greater Cambridge welcomed a delegation from San Diego to an event marking the official announcement of a new research facility at the Babraham Research Campus, an investment that will aid the expansion of the life sciences sector in Greater Cambridge.

“The trip made clear the strong potential there is for closer collaboration between Cambridge and San Diego. The Mayor of San Diego is one of the many US mayors that I will be meeting with whilst in Washington.

“There are many other cities, such as San Diego, that provide great opportunities for our area through greater trade and investment. Life sciences is one sector in particular that I will be looking to promote whilst in the United States.

“Cambridge is the number one centre for life sciences in Europe, and some would say third in the world, and has great ambitions for the future. This trip will provide an ideal opportunity to meet with mayors from other key life science centres such as Boston, Cambridge MA, San Diego and those that cover the Bay area to lesson draw and to explore potential opportunities for collaboration.

“I’m delighted that Harriet Fear MBE is able to join me as part of the UK delegation, thanks to the introduction by Cambridge Ahead. Harriet is the Prime Minister’s Business Ambassador for Life Sciences, a former diplomat and ex-chief executive at One Nucleus and will be an excellent advocate for the Greater Cambridge life sciences sector.”

Harriet Fear added: “I’m hugely excited about the opportunity to support the mayor and his team by joining the delegation to Washington. Collaboration and partnership are at the heart of the global life science and healthcare sector.

“Having the opportunity to showcase those values and our excellence in science, innovation and entrepreneurship will be fantastic for our region. It will hopefully lead to new mutually beneficial opportunities between the US and the UK, with our region pivotal to that success.”