The ACTE Column: The Great Escape

We might not be right back on track yet, but the economic signs are good

IS IT TIME to hang out the bunting9 At the start of the global economic crisis, the UK experienced a deeper initial downturn than aft of the G7 economies, with the exception of Japan, and experienced a slower recovery than aft but Italy. However, Q2 2013 results suggest the UK appears to be on the cusp of a nascent economic recovery.

Blighty has experienced a phenomenal couple of years, with a royal wedding, the hosting the Olympics to global critical acclaim, and a royal birth. Evidence suggests that these major events have helped us to develop a level of national confidence and positive thinking, have significantly contributed to restoring pride in ourselves, and have helped put the 'Great' back into Britain.

To enable home-owners and businesses to plan, invest and to spend with renewed confidence, the new Bank of England governor confirmed interest rates will remain static until at least 2016. Rates will then only rise if the unemployment ratio falls to under 7 per cent.

The CBI business lobby group increased its UK economic growth forecast from 1 per cent to 1.2 per cent in 2013 and from 2 to 2.3 per cent in 2014, based on predicted increases in disposable income, and in business and housing investment.

So the indicators suggest that although we may not be quite there yet, we are on the road towards 'escape velocity' and self-sustaining economic expansion.

As Buying Business Travel went to print, ACTE and the African Business Travel Association, [ABTA], launched a collaborative partnership to increase ACTE's footprint in key emerging African markets in South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana. Together, we will hold 18 business travel educational events throughout the region over the next 12 months, bringing travel buyers and suppliers together. Through this partnership, ABTA members benefit from international contacts, while ACTE members benefit through access to local, market-specific knowledge to help understand the nuances of doing business in Africa.

Nearly 100 delegates attended the launch event in Johannesburg, the highest turn-out for such an event since ABTA launched in the region three years ago. The conversation on a variety of core business travel topics was vibrant and progressive, and the energy was high. It proves that if you want to understand this region or promote your brand in Africa, ACTE and ABTA offer the channel to facilitate both opportunity and growth.

ACTE advances the careers of those who actively engage in our education programmes, whether as delegates or speakers. Business gets done through ACTE events -join our community and seize the opportunities on offer.

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