Financial Reporting Council chairman Baroness Hogg has been appointed as one of David Cameron’s new business ambassadors to promoted UK business overseas.
Hogg is one of 32 business and political figures the government has selected to promote British business overseas and, while in other jurisdictions, identify and assist the government in exploiting opportunities for British business in those regions.
The prime minister said that in making these appointments the aim was to “secure sustainable growth and to create jobs and future prosperity”. “It is of critical importance that we do everything we can to demonstrate that the British economy is open for business. That is why we have placed international trade at the heart of our foreign policy, and why I am determined to pursue with zeal every opportunity to further British business success,” he added. Eleven members of the group are Sirs, Lords or Ladies.
The role is a full one. Baroness Hogg and her fellow ambassadors will be required to “carry out priority meetings at the request of UK Trade & Investment” (UKTI) while travelling on business, including lobbying to remove barriers to markets and leading events for SMEs. She will also be required to lead delegations abroad specifically for UKTI, brief ministers and ambassadors on key business priorities and interests overseas, report back to the government on how UKTI can deliver on overseas opportunities for British business and lead conversations with governments in China, India, Brazil, Russia, Vietnam, Eastern Europe and other key markets.
Baroness Hogg is joined as a business ambassador by two FRC alumni – Pension Protection Fund chairman Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, who was deputy chairman of the FRC between 2003 and 2006, and Sir Victor Blank, who was an FRC member from 2002 to 2007.
Tesco non-executive chairman David Reid is another of the key business figures who has been made an ambassador and one of the few on the list to be bringing with him previous experience of being a finance director. Reid is a chartered accountant and started his career as chief accountant for Philips Video and International Stores before becoming FD of Tesco in 1985.