US Envoy lauds ties with UK

Ambassador Philip T.Reeker, the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States to the United Kingdom, says workforce revolution will bring UK & US even closer…reports Asian Lite News

UK and US businesses are well-placed to take advantage of a workforce revolution that can bring the two countries’ economies “even closer together”, a leading US diplomat told Chamber members.

Ambassador Philip T.Reeker, the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States to the United Kingdom, was speaking at an exclusive event hosted by the Greater Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the US Embassy.

Addressing delegates at the headquarters of HSBC UK in Birmingham city centre, Ambassador Reeker said that while the pandemic “spared no industry from unprecedented challenges”, it has also brought about changes in recruitment that have allowed UK and US firms to create a “truly global workforce”.

Ambassador Reeker said: “The pandemic brought a sea change in how we employ workers – many who went remote during the pandemic do not plan to return to the office or will be part of a hybrid model.

“That’s something we’re going to have to deal with in terms of social and corporate decisions.

“But certainly innovators and technology and business processes have enabled the opportunity to recruit, connect and ultimately retain the best talent virtually, creating a truly global workforce, even if we have to look for ways to bring those people together in person.

“We’re better positioned than ever before to take advantage of the now global workforce that is at our fingertips.

“Birmingham, England companies can now easily connect with Birmingham, Alabama companies – bringing our economies even closer together.”

Ambassador Reeker also praised the West Midlands’ “crucial role” in the green industrial revolution.

He said the region’s fast-growing low carbon sector offered prime investment opportunities in future mobility, smart energy systems, energy storage and resource management.

“What the West Midlands and Birmingham demonstrate to the world goes hand in hand our net-zero ambitions and the goal of building strong and inclusive economies,” he said.

“We can partner to implement our goals and commitments and find ever new ways to innovate, prosper and problem solve.”

Delegates also heard from Steve Hewitt, executive chair of global fitness brand Gymshark.

Mr Hewitt delivered a presentation on the Solihull-headquartered firm’s expansion into the US market, which is now its fastest-growing territory and accounts for 31 per cent of its 44 million social media followers.

He also joined the US Embassy’s senior regional investment advisor Gus Franklyn-Bute and HSBC’s head of US desk Joe Davies for a Q&A session.

A delegation from the embassy – including minister counsellor for commercial affairs Rosemary Gallant, international business advisor Kristina Schaferova – were given tours of two Chamber members who have trade links with the United States.

First up was a visit to the European headquarters of Hydraforce Hydraulics, a manufacturer of hydraulic valves that has six centres across the world, including three in North America.

The delegation also visited Chamber patron Flexeserve, the award-winning manufacturer of heated food-to-go units and hot-holding displays.

As well as touring Flexeserve’s headquarters in Leicestershire, they heard about the firm’s existing and future ventures in the U.S. market. @Birmingham Chamber

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