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UK Trade & Investment unveils its plans to grow the regions exports

July 2012 – Ramside Hall Hotel, Durham. More than 130 company executives recently gathered to discover how exports can help grow their business during a special event in which the new North East UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) service delivery company, Go Global, unveiled its plans to help grow the region’s exports.

The meeting was opened by UKTI’s Regional Director David Coppock, who highlighted Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green’s challenging target of doubling the number of UK companies exporting by 2020 from 100,000 to 200,000 companies. David went on to explain that this equated to an additional 500 exporting companies in the North East alone by 2015.

The primary aim of the Go Global consortium, which includes the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC), RTC North and the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), is to make exports a key driver of the region’s economy in order to meet this sizable challenge.

UKTI Operations Manager Julie Underwood put the challenge into perspective by highlighting that 95 per cent of SMEs do not make sales outside their own region and that there is a distinct lack of awareness among SMEs of how public sector support can help them export. However those SMEs that currently export have indicated they would not have embarked on their exporting journey without knowledge of what help is available.

Julie went on to highlight that the biggest challenge for the UKTI Go Global partnership was to get the message to SMEs that exporting is fun and that there are substantial benefits to the business in doing so.

The UKTI Go Global partnership demonstrated the new radical ideas that would enable them to reach more SMEs and discussed engagement through three streams of activity.

RTC will lead on the technology focus which is aimed at supporting companies in the high growth, knowledge intensive and high technology sectors. NECC will utilise its network of international British Chambers of Commerce to assist the process of market entry in specific geographic areas and NEPIC will focus on developing a clustering approach across nine priority sectors by engaging the key regional sector focused organisations and utilising its international relationships to access markets quickly.

Dr Stan Higgins NEPIC COE commented: “There is great expertise within the UKTI team and now the new partners of Go Global Ltd have brought their own expertise to the service offering there has never been a better opportunity for companies to realise the benefits of International Trade.

“We believe that by effectively engaging with business networks and business support organisations we can reach far more SMEs and deliver those challenging targets set out by Lord Green.”

For more information about the wide range of support services available through UK Trade & Investment to help your company succeed overseas call the North East International Trade Hotline on 0845 05 05 054 or email: enquiries@uktinortheast.org.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter at  twitter.com/UKTINorthEast.