George Freeman, MP for Mid-Norfolk and Chair of the APPG on Science and Technology in Agriculture, has been appointed a UK Trade Envoy by the Prime Minister. The announcement was made at the close of the Davos World Economic Forum, as part of an expansion of the UK's global trade and inward investment mission spearheaded by UKTI.
George Freeman, elected to Parliament in 2010 for the new constituency of Mid Norfolk after a career in the Eastern Region founding high growth start-up technology businesses – including as an Adviser to the Norwich Research Park Iceni Seed Challenge Fund – has been an outspoken champion of the Norwich Research Park and the Norfolk 'life science' cluster.
Appointed Government Adviser on Life Sciences in 2011, he has been closely involved in the launch of the UK's Industrial Strategies for Agri-Tech and Life Sciences, with major investment in the Eastern Region.
Last year he co-founded the Norwich-Cambridge Research Partnership with Lord Sainsbury and Norfolk and Cambridge County Councils, and has been successfully campaigning for a major upgrade of the Norwich-Cambridge Railway.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Freeman said: "This is a great opportunity to support and champion the world-class potential of so many of our local businesses here in the East, particularly in agri-tech, and help accelerate UK economic growth and recovery.
"After recent decades of unsustainable growth based on booms in debt, public spending and the City, we need, and the Government is right to be pursuing, a long term recovery based on the UK selling things the fastest growing markets of the world need. As I set out in my recent speech at the Oxford Farming Conference, the Norfolk and Eastern Region cluster of fast growing businesses – developing new products and markets in agri-tech as well as biomedicine, renewable energy, and our strengths in automotive, finance, media, farming and tourism – offer huge opportunities for long term prosperity for our region.
“As an MP and a UK Trade Envoy, I look forward to continue highlighting the potential of our local businesses to export more to these fastest growing global markets.”
The Envoy role is an unpaid role supporting UKTI, which will involve supporting trade delegations to boost UK exports and inward investment.