Welcome to my first blog post.
I am the head of UK Trade & Investment and the International Trade team for Herefordshire & Worcestershire. After a background in electronics, I had the opportunity to utilise my experience in the world of trade and have since gone by the overriding mantra of “Exporting is GREAT”. I am incredibly lucky to have a team of seven International Trade Advisors and three operational staff in my International Trade team, all with enviable amounts of expertise in a variety of different fields and sectors, who operate under exactly the same premise!
To give a short breakdown about my team, we have seven dedicated International Trade Advisors, one of which specifically helping medium sized businesses (MSB), all of whom are on hand to offer a range of support – which I will come onto later – available to all internationally facing businesses in Herefordshire & Worcestershire. With commercial backgrounds in a range of sectors, all with wide-ranging levels of international experience, my team are able to offer truly global services, but with intricate and in-depth knowledge of local business conditions. It is this that makes the UKTI offer such a valuable one for business.
In addition to this, the International Trade operations team, who are part of the Chamber’s Commercial team, offer British Chambers of Commerce Accredited Export Documentation services, translation brokerage of around 140 languages, specialist services for exporters and, impressively for a Chamber of our size, a specialist training schedule that cover critical industry subject titles that enable a business to become a competitive and successful exporter.
It gives me great pleasure to announce that this month has seen us celebrating the fact we have tendered and won the contract to deliver the UKTI regional contract for the next five years, which not only gives us the opportunity to continue to build upon the solid foundations we have built so far, but to launch new products and services that will allow our local business support offer to become even stronger and capable of helping you to succeed and grow internationally.
UKTI have a number of strategic goals for the next five years. My team and I fully intend to engage with as many of the local business community as possible, letting you know about the range of support that will be on offer in line with these goals and, most importantly, the ways in which they can provide unquantifiable levels of help to your business.
As the global economy continues to evolve, modernise and develop in line with the staggering technological developments we see today, there are a whole host of new areas of business we can now support, in addition – of course – to the established and successful sectors we work with now. Amongst these innovative sectors we can include are:
· E-retail and the expansion of the digital economy
· Developing cyber security export opportunities
· Advanced manufacturing products and services
I am sure that many of you reading this may already know about the support that UKTI and the International Trade team can offer – some of you may even be current clients – but for those who don’t, my team and I are always willing to offer advice and support for those who need it.
To finish off my first post, I want to say this to businesses: Exporting does not have to be the daunting and unobtainable prospect you think it might be. A simple footing outside of your comfort zone with allow you to sell your products in some of the most lucrative markets across the world, grow your business and, the part I know you will enjoy hearing, make more money in the process!