Newcastle NE1, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID), is supporting the city’s businesses to forge worldwide trading links as the country prepares for Brexit.
NE1 has organised a visit from the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), which represents businesses in a number of Arab states. Led by ABCC Secretary General and Chief Executive Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby, and ABBC Director of Trade Service Abdeslam El-Idrissi the delegates visited leading Newcastle companies and institutions.
The visit focused on some of the areas where companies in the Newcastle City Region have complementary interests in the Middle East, namely subsea engineering and renewable energy, science and healthcare, and education.
It was organised to highlight opportunities for business, investment, trade, knowledge transfer and learning, and to strengthen links between Arab speaking countries and Newcastle.
In addition to this the visitors hoped to raise the economic, trade and diplomatic profile of Arabic-speaking countries outside of London by meeting and sharing ideas with regional figures on issues such as research, governance, regional economics and new technologies.
Highlights of the trip included visits to Pearson Engineering at the city’s historic Armstrong Works, Shepherd Offshore in Wallsend, the Institute for Genetic Medicine at the International Centre for Life and Newcastle University,
NE1 Chief Executive Sean Bullick said: “The result of the EU referendum brought an element of risk to the North East’s position as an exporter and while we are sure the Government will do its best maintain our trade links in Europe and build more in the wider world, we are taking the initiative and are proactively building links that will sustain and grow Newcastle’s economy, regardless of the result of the Brexit negotiations.
“We are honoured to have welcomed the delegates from the Arab-British Chamber of commerce to Newcastle. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase what Newcastle city region’s world class businesses have to offer countries in the Arabic world. We have world leaders in sectors such as offshore and renewables, science, health, science and education, all of which are areas of interest to our visitors.”
Abdeslam El-Idrissi said: “We are delighted to have visited Newcastle and would like to thank our hosts Newcastle NE1 Limited for helping to organise our trip. There are a number of areas where the interests and expertise of Newcastle and the Arab nations complement one another and we are keen to explore them.
“This visit has allowed us to further friendship, co-operation and engagement with the people and companies of the North East. It is clear that there is much commercial potential in Arab-British collaboration which we hope to unlock.”
Bruce Shepherd, Managing Director of Shepherd Offshore, said: “The visit was extremely informative, we will be having a further meeting to discuss future projects in the Eastern Mediterranean and Gulf”.
Professor Lyle Armstrong, Professor of Cellular Reprogramming at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, said: “What we do with our STEM work in Newcastle affects everyone in the world. We want to role this out as a treatment for any disease, for anyone in any part of the world. International trade links are of enormous importance to us not only for finding new markets that we can adapt our cures to, but also for attracting inward investment that helps our university and our corporate operations to prosper.
Newcastle is proud of its rich cultural heritage and is keen to celebrate and demonstrate the incredible diversity of its residents, visitors and students through a new project, ‘Humans of NE1’, an online album of portrait photographs cataloguing the people of Newcastle and their stories. Hosted on NE1’s Get into Newcastle website and NE1’s other social media platforms, visitors will be encouraged to visit the site to review the images and read the stories and individual histories of the people photographed.
Over the past six months, NE1 has been collecting photographs and stories from residents and visitors to the city spanning all ages, genders, sexuality and ethnic origins – the aim is to collate stories that represent the city and show the enormous diversity of people who now call Newcastle ‘home’. Five new stories will be posted each week – featuring a portrait photo together with a short biography of the person including a story of their life, past experiences, or future hopes and dreams. The images will be accessible on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with a library of all images available on the website
- Web address – www.getintonewcastle.co.uk/city-info/humans-of-ne1
Humans of NE1 follows the lead of New York and its world famous, Humans of New York project which has grown to include an extensive website, books and social media presence which tells the story of the city one photograph at a time.
Humans of New York began as a photography project in 2010 taking portraits of some 10,000 people on the streets of the city – the pictures became the subject of a popular blog featuring photos and a short story of the person photographed. Humans of New York has over 20 million followers on social media.
Ben Whitfield, Marketing and Events Manager at NE1 Ltd said:
“It’s the people that make Newcastle such an amazing city and we hope to represent this with the photos and the online Humans of NE1 activity. We love the insight you get into the cultural diversity of New York through Humans of New York and we want to celebrate Newcastle’s individual and unique personality through its residents and visitors. It’s great to work on a project like this that delves a little deeper and gets under the skin of the city. Already, the photos we’ve taken give a real snapshot of Newcastle’s diversity and we expect the site to become extremely popular.”
All the photographs are being taken by professional photographer, Stephanie Oswald. Stephanie is originally from France and has lived in Newcastle for the past 17 years after moving to the city to study for a Masters degree in Film at Newcastle University.
Tasked with taking 30 individual profile shots for the project each month, Stephanie discovered that Newcastle’s two Universities, Northumbria and Newcastle were great locations for capturing the spirit of the city with students and lecturers not only keen to get involved but also from a huge variety of different places.
“A project of this sort has always been a dream of mine and I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the pictures and capturing the hidden stories of the people of Newcastle. It is both an exciting and humbling experience to meet so many different people, from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe, all keen to share their stories and experience. Humans of NE1 shows what a truly cosmopolitan place Newcastle is and tells extraordinary stories about people’s lives and histories.”