PM appoints Business Ambassadors

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has appointed six new Business Ambassadors – business and academic leaders chosen to support the Government in promoting the UK’s excellence internationally.

The new Business Ambassadors include Chris Brinsmead, Chairman of AstraZeneca UK, and Lord Ara Darzi, Professor at Imperial College and former Health Minister, representing the UK life sciences industry.

The UK represents 3% of the global pharmaceutical market, but attracts 10% of all R&D. Five of the world’s top 20 medicines were discovered in the UK – and in 2007, the UK exported pharmaceuticals worth £14.6 billion, creating a £3.4 billion surplus for the UK economy.

The Business Ambassadors Network was created in October 2008, with a particular focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which sometimes face greater barriers to accessing global markets than larger businesses.

The new additions bring the number of UK Business Ambassadors to 24, enabling them to reach more audiences overseas and to provide expert coverage across a wider range of sectors.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “Since the UK Business Ambassadors network was set up just over a year ago, its members have carried out over 70 international engagements in some 25 different markets, promoting British trade across the globe and playing an important role in championing UK business.

“I am delighted that a further six leaders from business and academia will be joining the team, promoting our businesses and working with them to develop opportunities worldwide and boost growth.”

The other new Business Ambassadors are: Larry Hirst, Chairman of IBM Europe, Middle East and North Africa; Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman of UK Atomic Energy Authority; Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University and author of the King Review of low carbon transport; and Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of the London Design Festival and co-Chair of the Sorrell Foundation.