Ambitious businesses flock to major exporting event

More than 100 ambitious businesses from across the West Midlands took part in a major event funded by ERDF SME International Growth Project that could help them grow their exporting plans.

New Year, New Markets at the ICC featured 30 market specialists representing 93 markets from across the globe – including Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Gulf.

Andy Smith, Lorna Barradine and Pete West

Andy Smith, Lorna Barradine and Pete West

Organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, funded through their ERDF SME International Growth Project this trade event was open to small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) based in the West Midlands region. Attendees ranged from experienced exporters looking to expand their global reach to those that have never traded outside of the UK before.

More than 300 1:1 meetings took place with market specialists and trade advisers, and parallel workshops provided specific market intelligence too.  Those focusing on North America, Africa, UAE, Germany and India proved to be the most popular among delegates.

Andy Smith, International Relationships Manager, for the SME International Growth Project, said the turnout demonstrated that companies from across the West Midlands region – which includes Coventry and Warwickshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire – are keen to explore overseas markets.

“This was a great l turnout for such an event and it shows that businesses are hungry for export advice and intelligence,” he said.

“It was heartening to see the level of interest across the market spectrum, from close EU neighbours to further-flung growth markets such as those in Africa or South East Asia.”