Some of the region’s biggest names from industry and education have been signed up by the Government as business ambassadors.

The appointees, who together have a wealth of business experience and knowledge gained from a series of sectors and geographical markets, will join the Prime Minister and the coalition in promoting the UK overseas markets as well as assisting UK businesses to recognise and exploit business opportunities.

The appointees from the region include Lord Digby Jones, Aston University vice chancellor Julia King, GKN boss Sir Kevin Smith and JCB’s Sir Anthony Bamford.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I am delighted that some of the most experienced and successful people from business and our universities are working with us. Their knowledge, skill and dedication to British business will play a key role in opening markets, increasing trade and encouraging investment.

“To secure sustainable growth and to create jobs and future prosperity it is of critical importance that we do everything we can to demonstrate that the British economy is open for business. That is why we have placed international trade at the heart of our foreign policy, and why I am determined to pursue with zeal every opportunity to further British business success.

“Our business ambassadors will be at the forefront of this, there can be no better champion for British business than them.”

Other ambassadors include Richard Lambert from the CBI, Tamara Mellon from Jimmy Choo and Sir John Bond from Vodafone as well as a host of other leading business figures.