Trade experts from 60 countries attended Explore Export in Newmarket
As the dust settled and we reflected on another busy Export Week, I think it’s safe to say that this was a particularly great week for many reasons.
It was not just because we were able to successfully deliver a series of five UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) events covering a wide range of topics, with over 300 businesses taking part.
Nor was it because the events reached an ever-wider range of businesses at home in their local areas across the East of England region.
Nor because our flagship ExploreExport event alone saw some 780 one-to-one meetings held between our trade advisers from over 60 countries with existing and potential exporters from our area – helping them on their way to achieve growth in their business overseas.
No, the week was particularly great because, more than ever before, we at UKTI East felt that we succeeded in putting the whole world (or at least a big chunk of it) in the hands of so many budding and existing exporters.
During the week, I was proud to reveal how we have contributed to many of the region’s success stories: from The Business Performance (BP) Group’s $1million sales forecast after a successful entry into the US market, to Specialist Recruitment Partners’ half a million Saudi business win, to DJB Instruments Ltd’s predicted overseas orders for Germany alone totalling over £1.5m after securing two new, major distributors – to name just a few.
I also was encouraged to hear about how a number of relatively new companies are so switched on to exporting that they see it as an integral part of their business model – not just a bolt-on bonus for when there’s more time or more resources to have a go at it.
The Great British Banjo Company, from Norwich, is one of them: already en route to selling its handcrafted musical instruments abroad after just one year of existence. Or Scarlet and Mustard, a brand-savvy Suffolk-based sauce company, who sees exporting as just another way to grow its business – there are only so many dishes one can season in the UK alone after all!
And I was thrilled to hear from the many medium-sized businesses in our region, whom we have helped along their exporting journeys and who now have a healthy presence abroad.
I heard how well Sepura has been doing since our support helped them secure a contract worth over £9.5m in Portugal and another contract to supply 18 Brazilian airports for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. I also got an update on Welwyn Garden City food manufacturer Grace Foods UK, which increased its export activity by more than 50 per cent over the last three years thanks to our help.
But we must not take our foot off the gas – in fact for us every week is Export Week as the challenge remains significant to convince more of our businesses to make exporting a core focus of their growth strategies.
Exporting is crucial to the growth of our regional economy. The British brand is incredibly strong throughout the world, bringing with it a reputation of credibility and reliability. There has never been a more opportune time to take advantage of these commercial prospects than now.
So I hope many more businesses of all shapes and sizes across our region will make exporting a higher priority and contact us to access tailored help to turn their plans into another success story.
To find out what we can do to help you grow abroad, call us on 01707 398398, or email info [at] uktieast.org.uk%20" target="_blank">info [at] uktieast.org.uk