LEP sets up international team to boost trade and investment

THE LEEDS City Region Enterprise Partnership has set up an international team to boost global trade and investment as part of its efforts to help rebalance the UK economy.

The team has been created following the transfer of former members of the Leeds and Partners inward investment and marketing and communications teams.

The LEP is developing an international strategy and hopes to launch it later this year.

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Roger Marsh, chairman of the LEP, told The Yorkshire Post that the strategy would target the large economies of China, India and South America as well as Europe and the emerging economies around the Baltics.

The former PwC Leeds senior partner said the city region has a pipeline of nearly 90 inward investment opportunities, of which 30 are significant.

He is also keen to help companies in the city region increase exports and said a 10 per cent rise in international trade could add an additional £1bn to the local economy.

Mr Marsh wants to make sure efforts to support trade and investment are as aligned as possible.

Leeds and Partners, which spent £2.3m in 2013-14, was wound down after chief executive Lurene Joseph announced her plans to seek new challenges.

Latest figures show the region is becoming more appealing to international investors.

The EY Attractiveness Survey 2015 showed Leeds was the joint fourth most successful UK city outside of London in attracting foreign direct investment last year.

Mr Marsh said: “The internationalisation of our economy is critical to driving good growth in Leeds City Region.”