Recently we congratulated the latest recipients from our region of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Yet again we saw a healthy number of local businesses winning in the International Trade category demonstrating how much the goods and services, and innovation and ideas from businesses across our region are sought after the world over.
Liz Basing, International Trade Director for the East of England, UK Trade & Investment, offers her unique insight on trading overseas.
Export Week - which took place 11-15 November - was a hugely successful week for the UKTI East team, as well as for our partners and businesses across the region.
The East of England is a diverse region, rich in innovation and bursting with products, services and ideas that are in demand across the world. That means we need to get more of our companies exporting.
There’s never been a better time to sell overseas: The internet has helped create a readily accessible global marketplace offering a vast array of opportunities for firms to export from their UK base.
After Export Week in May, when 130 businesses from across the East of England attended an array of events focussing on exports to countries including Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Turkey, the trade figures for the period to end March 2013 confirm the rebalancing towards non-EU markets.
When it comes to exporting the East of England like other parts of the UK still sends more than half its exports to the EU.
The end of our business year is always a busy time and this year is no exception.
Our big set piece this month was Exporting for Growth at Newmarket. It’s a tried and tested formula and one that works well for our clients – there’s no substitute for a face to face conversation and as ever we were able to bring in a large number of commercial officers and offer East of England companies time with someone who lives and works in their target markets.
Every time I log onto the net at home a kindly advertiser reminds me how few sleeps there are to go to Christmas – I suppose counting shopping days is a bit old hat in the 24/7 economy.
A year ago, Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment, challenged British business to go for growth through international trade.
Quite simply, companies that export are more productive, grow faster and perform better than companies that don’t and the job of UK Trade and Investment teams across England is to encourage and support more firms to do more and better international business.
My last blog talked about UKTI’s Olympic events. This week, we have our final two, on ICT on Wednesday in Ipswich and Digital and Creative Media on Friday at the Hauser Forum in Cambridge.
In the week that sees the start of the Olympic Games it’s not difficult to think of a theme for July’s blog.
Once a quarter, at about this time, the trade statistics come out. You would have to be living on the moon to escape the numbers in the news about Eurozone members in difficulty, so waiting for the effect of the Eurozone problems to show up in the trade statistics has been a bit like waiting for the other boot to drop.
Based on the statistics just out, the year on year figures still look pretty rosy with a 14 per cent rise in exports to the EU 27. Look at the rolling year and you’ll find that the region sold fractionally less to Europe in the first three months of 2012 than in the last three months of 2011.
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