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The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce had the distinct honour of hosting Martha Lane Fox, CBE, President of the British Chamber of Commerce and Business Council Chair, in a day filled with insight, collaboration, and advocacy. The visit underscored the essential role that Suffolk and the wider region play in the UK's business landscape.

The day commenced with an insightful tour of the Port of Felixstowe, generously arranged by Paul Davey and Steve Beel. Martha, a champion of business logistics, expressed her genuine passion and enthusiasm for the industry. Following this, the delegation proceeded to BT Adastral Park, where Lisa Perkins, Adastral Park and Research Realisation Director, along with her dedicated team, extended a warm welcome to Martha. Her visit left a profound impact, with particular emphasis on the region's unwavering commitment to nurturing young talent, fostering skill development, and fostering strategic collaborations with universities.

Lisa expressed her satisfaction, stating, "It was an absolute delight to host Martha and showcase BT's and our region's unwavering commitment to fostering innovation and nurturing talent."

Martha's visit was not only a day of fruitful engagement but also a reminder of the vibrant business ecosystem that thrives in Suffolk. It underscored the importance of recognising the invaluable assets that Suffolk and the surrounding region have to offer, as highlighted in the post-visit discussions. In her capacity as The Business Council Chair, Martha's engagement in the council's five key priorities holds considerable relevance for Suffolk businesses. These priorities include; digital revolution, people and work, green innovation, global Britian and local economy of the future.

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has compiled a set of key messages to be championed by the British Chamber of Commerce in their interactions with the UK Government. These policy asks are critical to our region's growth and prosperity and we are excited to work together with Martha and the British Chamber to amplify these messages and advocate for the betterment of our region.

• Investment in Skills and People: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is committed to nurturing the next generation of talent and strengthening the ties between local businesses and universities.
• Infrastructure and Connectivity: The visit underscored the importance of enhanced transportation links and digital infrastructure as catalysts for regional growth, further highlighting the significance of timely implementation of infrastructure upgrades, such as those needed in Ely and Haughley, which are vital for businesses like the Port of Felixstowe.
• Support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Continued support and incentives for the SMEs that are the lifeblood of the local economy. The Chamber seeks continued support and incentives to foster their growth.
• Sustainability and Innovation: Suffolk remains committed to environmental sustainability and the adoption of innovative technologies, necessitating policies that align with these goals.
• Promoting Regional Business: The Chamber aspires to raise awareness of the untapped opportunities and potential within Suffolk to the broader business community.

This visit to Suffolk served as a testament to the significance of the region's businesses and the advocacy for policy changes that will enhance its growth and prosperity. Martha Lane Fox's insights, position on the Business Council and her influential role in the House of Lords position her as an invaluable advocate for these critical regional issues.

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce looks forward to its ongoing collaboration with the British Chamber of Commerce, patrons, members and stakeholders in pursuit of the shared vision of enhancing the business environment and economy in Suffolk. As we continue to work together, we aim to ensure that Suffolk's voice is not only heard but also acted upon at the national level.

With thanks to Lexus Ipswich for lending The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce a car for the occasion. 

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Suffolk Chamber

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