West Midlands producers of beers, ciders and spirits could be raising a toast to exporting success if they take part in a special event with buyers from East Asia and Central Europe.

The Selling Beer, Cider and Spirits into East Asia and Central Europe event on Tuesday, 7 March, will see four international buyers covering China, Hong Kong, Japan and six central European countries looking for new products to introduce to their markets.

Pictured (left to right): Paris Calder (International Trade Apprentice), Ajay Desai (CW Chamber), Charles Murray (UK to Asia Ltd), Steve Townsley (CW Chamber Training), Nick Hansen (UK to Asia Ltd).

Pictured (left to right): Paris Calder (International Trade Apprentice), Ajay Desai (CW Chamber), Charles Murray (UK to Asia Ltd), Steve Townsley (CW Chamber Training), Nick Hansen (UK to Asia Ltd).

The free, day-long event, which is being held in Coventry, is being organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands and is being delivered as part of the SME International Growth Project (IGP), which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Ajay Desai, head of the international trade team in Coventry and Warwickshire, said he was keen for drinks manufacturers across the region to be part of an exporting success story. Between January and October last year (2016), the UK beer export market alone rose to £479 million from £413 million the previous year, while over the same period UK gin exports rose 11% to £392 million.

He said: “British beers, ciders and spirits are in high demand across the world and there are high-quality products being created and manufactured in the region, which should be enjoyed by people across the world. This event offers the perfect opportunity for drinks manufacturers to explore the opportunities in these thriving markets.

“You only have to look at the great.gov.uk portal to see that buyers from as far away as China and New Zealand are looking to import British-made drinks. With our support, businesses can be a global success.”

Attending the event will be Hong Kong-based The Beer Bay, which is planning to increase its portfolio of British beers by one third.

Also looking for Midlands makers will be buyers from Japan’s Inn Beers Co Ltd, which has had a show pub in central Tokyo for the past 20 years and regularly hosts tastings for new beers and ciders.

China’s Yao Lu Trading Ltd, which specialises in importing British cider to the Chinese market, will also be there in the hope of finding new suppliers.

Cider, beer and spirits makers from the West Midlands wanting to target Central Europe will be able to speak to Marek Schejbal, an Anglo-Polish consultant to the British Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw who runs the highly successful Taste of Britain market entry programme for UK food and drink suppliers. He is about to launch a new e-commerce trading platform in partnership with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce for food and drink suppliers including alcohol (bonded) products, servicing initially Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

Attendees will be able to meet with international trade experts who can support businesses on e-commerce, routes to market, finance, doing business in Europe, and communication and culture overseas. One-to-one meetings can also be booked on a first come, first served basis.

DIT Midlands offers businesses in the region a wide range of support packages and programme to help them break into overseas markets. Any company interested in starting to export or that wants to grow their exports, should visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk, part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative.

nt at the Ansty Club, Grove Road, and to book your free ticket, visit https://beerciderspirits.eventbrite.co.uk, email WMENQUIRIES@mobile.trade.gov.uk, or telephone 0121 607 1751.