The Greater Manchester International Strategy

The strategy outlines a long-term ambition to strengthen its position as a top global city region and will play a critical role in delivering the ambitions of the Greater Manchester Strategy vision. It sets out Greater Manchester’s international ambitions, priorities and action plan that includes: Trade, Investment, Visitor Economy, Research and Innovation and International Students, Global perception and reputation connectivity and City Region Diplomacy.

The Strategy can be downloaded from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Core Priorities

TRADE: In 2019 Greater Manchester exported £6.6bn worth of goods and £8.8bn work of services, equating to approximately 18% of our total GDP. View the Greater Manchester Export Plan.

INVESTMENT (FDI & FCI): Foreign owned companies are worth a total of £37billion to Greater Manchester’s economy, employing approximately 172,000 people.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION: Innovation has always been at the heart of Greater Manchester, with the city-region boasting an impressive history of “world firsts” and today recognised as the UK’s Top Digital Tech City.

VISITOR ECONOMY (BUSINESS AND LEISURE): In 2019, tourism contributed £9bn to Greater Manchester’s economy, sustaining over 101,000 jobs. Conferences alone contributed a spend of £862m.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Greater Manchester has the largest international student population outside of London with over 21,000 international students from more than 160 different countries.

Enabling Priorities

CONNECTIVITY: Physical connectivity via Manchester Airport is a key for delivering our core international priorities. The pandemic has had a devastating impact on long-haul connectivity and we must work with Manchester Airport to re-instate these lost routes. We recognise the significant net zero challenge facing the aviation industry and are committed to working closely with Manchester Airport as they work towards full net-zero operations by 2038. 

 MARKETING AND PERCEPTION: Greater Manchester has successfully continued to communicate its story to the world, making strides to increase its rankings in a range of global indices. We regularly outrank large competitor regions, joining capital cities in global indices. 

 CITY-REGION DIPLOMACY: Greater Manchester is recognised as a key diplomatic hub in the north of England, hosting a total of 15 foreign diplomatic missions and has strategic partnerships with city-regions in Europe, China, South Asia, Japan, and the USA. 

Greater Manchester International Strategy Launch

Elise Wilson, Leader of Stockport Council & GMCA Portfolio Lead for Economy & Business

Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Manchester.

Sheona Southern, Managing Director, Marketing Manchester

Janine Smith, Director of Business Growth, GC Business Growth Hub

Adam Jupp, Director of Comms, Manchester Airports Group

Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism, Marketing Manchester

Tim Newns, Chief Executive, MIDAS

Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council

Councillor Abdul Jabbar MBE , Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Chair of Greater Manchester Bangladesh Partnership Board

Elizabeth Vega OBE, Group CEO, Informed Solutions

Helen Jones, Director of Global Engagement and Strategy, Science Museum Group

Professor Jennifer Watling, Pro Vice- Chancellor Manchester Metropolitan University