By Tim Montgomerie
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Some of the 'Britain is Great' posters. Others celebrate Britain's universities.
David Cameron sees global salesmanship as one of his most important roles. Earlier this year he defended the way he takes businesspeople on his international trips. "Do you think," he asked, "the Germans and the French and the Americans are all sitting at home waiting for business to fall into their lap?" He continued: "While there are contracts to be won, jobs to be created, markets to be defended – I will be there." He was in Russia last week doing just that, helping to sign and seal £100m of new contracts for UKplc.
Yesterday in New York David Cameron launched the latest phase of his global salesman role. The £510,000 'Britain is Great' campaign aims to maximise the opportunities for Britain's global standing that will be presented by next year's Olympics and the celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The PM said:
“In 2012 there will be only one place to be…we are determined to make the most of this unprecedented opportunity to ensure we deliver a lasting economic legacy that will benefit the whole country. This campaign is simple. There are so many great things about Britain and we want to send out the message loud and proud that this is a great place to do business, to invest, to study and to visit.”
Mr Cameron also announced plans for a global investment conference on the eve of London's Olympics Games. 200 of the world's leading businesses will be invited to Lancaster House to consider investing in Britain as they also arrive to enjoy the sport (see FT (£) report). The UK Trade and Investment entity estimates that networking opportunities associated with the 2012 Games could yield up to £1bn in new investment into Britain.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied that the 'Britain Is Great' campaign is an attempt to repair the damage done by the summer's riots. The campaign has been in gestation for a long period.