Business secretary Sajid Javid is set to lead a regional trade delegation to North America in September under the new Midlands Engine initiative it has been revealed.
The official trade delegation is one of a series of measures unveiled today to boost the Midlands economy, attract investment and create thousands of jobs.
Also revealed during a conference in Nottingham was a new foreign investment hub near to Birmingham Airport and a £2 million challenge fund to support regional business.
Guest of honour at the conference was business minister Anna Soubry who announced the Midlands Engine would deliver 300,000 jobs and contribute £34 billion to the economy.
The project area covers both the East and West Midlands with a population of 11.5 million, which represents about 15 per cent of the UK economy. and is the region’s answer to the much-celebrated Nothern Powerhouse initiative.
Ms Soubry said: “Following the EU referendum result, I recognise there’s a level of uncertainty over what the future holds.
“But now’s the time to work together and support businesses to build partnerships that can help them grow.
“Local economies are key to the success of UK growth and this new government funding for the Midlands will help attract investment, encourage trade and create jobs.
“So let’s keep telling the rest of the world what we already know: that the Midlands Engine is a great place to do business, with excellent universities and local leaders committed to seeing the area thrive.”
Bromsgrove MP Mr Javid, who is currently embroiled in the Conservative leadership contest as running mate for Stephen Crabb, is the Government’s champion for the Midlands Engine and will pitch to potential American investors on the late summer trade visit.
Hosted at Nottingham Trent University, delegates were also told about the success of the £180 million public and private energy research accelerator partnership and progress made by Midlands Connect - the initiative to forge stronger east-west transport links between the Midlands’ cities.
Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace said: “I believe we are now ready to very clearly and very loudly speak with one united voice on the world’s stage.
“The Midlands is the beating heart of UK manufacturing, we are the beating heart of the country and the home to global iconic businesses, we are a magnet for investment and we can deliver results which can drive forward the UK economy.
“Now that we know the result of the referendum, regardless of individual views on the outcome, we in the Midlands must seize on this and turn it into an opportunity to deliver jobs, growth and innovation.
“We are perfectly placed to deliver the message of our readiness straight to the very heart of Government today through the Minister of State for the Department for Business - demonstrating our willingness to lead the UK trade offer at such an important time.”