Ambassador trumpets Cambridge-US trade
A strengthening American economy makes it fertile ground for ambitious businesses based in the Cambridge technology cluster and Eastern region of the UK, the US Ambassador to Britain Matthew W. Barzun has told Business Weekly in an exclusive interview.
He was speaking just ahead of delivering a keynote address to delegates attending the Transatlantic Business Forum run by Deyton Bell in Cambridge today.
He said: “President Obama has rescued the US economy from recession and its current resurgence makes this an ideal time for UK firms to invest. We welcome interest from every sector in the region – not only from life sciences, medtech and IT, but also from manufacturing and from the service sector.”
However, although the US remains the UK’s largest single export market, the Ambassador admitted that US trade can be a daunting prospect for many – especially for those taking their first steps into international commerce.
“The US is such a huge economy that it can be intimidating, so the approach we recommend is to break the country down into states, rather than target the US as a whole,” he said.
“Many UK companies do not appreciate the size of some our state economies – the Florida economy, for example, is as big as South Korea while North Carolina is on a par with Sweden. If a business has been a success in the UK and Europe then there is no reason why it cannot succeed in a state economy. It therefore makes sense to start in one state and then grow your business across others.”
Ambassador Barzun also advised on the attitude companies should adopt to achieve commercial success in the US – advice that he says is also relevant to firms wanting to attract US investment.
“The British love understatement but when it comes to promoting your business, don’t undersell yourself. The ingenuity and invention that is so evident in the Eastern region will be welcomed across the US and we can provide all the support required – commercial and tactical – to help a business survive and thrive.”
The 2014 Transatlantic Business Forum was hosted by business development consultancy Deyton Bell in association with CASE, The Council of American States in Europe.
With a focus on transatlantic commercial issues, the agenda featured speakers from across the region and from the US, who provided best practice case studies and expert advice on transatlantic commerce, and about opportunities for US investment.