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26 February, 2015 - 21:16 By News Desk

Lego legend helps build Anglo-US trade

former Lego director of global branding and business development Christian Majgaard

UKTI is helping companies in Cambridge and the East of England make it big in the US thanks to a new conference designed to give them the tools and knowledge needed to set up in the region’s second highest export destination.

The March 4 conference at Newmarket Racecourses comes after a leading transatlantic business organisation British American Business (BAB) launched a new report highlighting the array of benefits the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could bring to smaller business in particular.

The Newmarket showcase will see experts including former Lego director of global branding and business development Christian Majgaard (above) discuss strategy development, setting up and expansion, and product approval in the US. There will be a range of breakout sessions to look at sectors and specific topics in more detail.

UKTI East interim regional director Thinley Topden said: “Last year, UKTI helped more than 4,000 businesses to export to the US, twice as many as the year before. We are keen to continue to help more businesses in our region access the many opportunities this key market has to offer.

“The US and the UK have a strong historic trading relationship and remain each other’s largest foreign investors. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, once formalised, could not only add significantly to both the economies of the EU and the US but importantly could boost the UK economy by as much as £10 billion annually in the long term.

“Already around 17 per cent of all British exports were to the US in 2012 and trade in goods and services to the US was worth £135 billion, up 3.6 per cent from the year before.

“There are many benefits to doing business in the US including: minimal amount of red tape, no language barrier, similar business culture and access to global supply chains that can lead to exports for other markets.”

BAB’s report was launched following a roadshow across the country to better understand the problems small businesses face when trying to access the US market, such as red tape.

Trade Minister Lord Livingston welcomed the report: “Small and mid-sized businesses who want to export to the US find they are hard hit by a double whammy of duplicate regulations and import duties.

“TTIP will seek to change that.The agreement will be negotiated with a focus on benefits for small companies including a dedicated small business chapter.”

One business from the East of England which has had great success after using support from UKTI to accelerate its growth in the United States is The Business Performance (BP) Group. From a standing start in 2013 it now has a $1m sales forecast for 2015.

Based in Saffron Walden, The BP Group is a business development agency that helps office product resellers win new business and achieve profitable growth. By accessing advice and support from UKTI, the consultancy has been able to gain significant US wins six months ahead of schedule.

UKTI international trade adviser Martin Senior has been working with The BP Group for just over a year. He says: “The company now has nine employees based at a new office in Atlanta and Luke Chapman, the managing director, is spending an increasing amount of his time leading the sales element there. The company grossed $600k within its first six months of trading in the US and was able to invoice a further $150k by the end of 2014.”

For more detail and to secure your place, visit eventbrite.

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