Business issues move centre stage for CBI conference

This year&#39s CBI National Conference, taking place from Sunday November 24 to Tuesday November 26 at the Manchester International Convention Centre, will cover issues including international economic prospects, the reputation of business, public services reform and &#39added value&#39.

Chancellor Gordon Brown and US Treasury Secretary Paul O&#39Neill will address the state of the economies on both sides of the Atlantic.

Facing questions from delegates will be Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt, Shadow Chancellor Michael Howard and Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy. New Education Secretary Charles Clarke will make one of his first major speeches.

Health Secretary Alan Millburn will join UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis and Rod Alridge (Chairman, Capita Group) in a debate on improving public services.

Top international business speakers will include: Lord Browne (Group Chief Executive, BP plc), Carly Fiorina (Chairman & CEO, Hewlett-Packard), Sir Nick Scheele (Chief Operating Officer, Ford Motor Company), Sir Richard Greenhalgh (Chairman, Unilver UK Ltd) and Charles Dunstone (CEO, Carphone Warehouse).

Stock Market volatility will be put under the spotlight with the expert help of Don Cruickshank (Chairman, London Stock Exchange) and Hardwick Simmons (Chairman & CEO of The Nasdaq Stock Market).

CBI President Sir John Egan will chair The Reputation of Business debate with panelists Sir Nigel Rudd (Chairman, Kidde plc), Patience Wheatcroft (Business Editor, The Times), Dianne Thompson (Chief Executive, Camelot plc) and Carly Fiorina, (Chairman and CEO, Hewlett-Packard).

Digby Jones, CBI Director General, says: “The UK is one of the world&#39s most successful trading nations. This year&#39s CBI National Conference will be examining the reasons for that success and, with the help of international business and political leaders, will seek to identify how UK business can retain its competitive edge.”