Gulf export roadshow to head to West Midlands

With UK exports to the Middle East growing by 56% in the past decade, West Midlands businesses are being encouraged to tap into the potential of trading with Gulf markets.

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A Meet the Experts event has been organised for Tuesday, June 5, where companies from the West Midlands region – which covers the counties of Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands – can explore export opportunities in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Specialist advisers from oil and gas, life sciences and healthcare, creative industries – in particular, architectural and design services/technology, as well as infrastructure and the construction sectors will be at the event, which is organised by West Midlands Chambers of Commerce’s ERDF SME International Growth Project.

However, cross-sector advisers will also be on hand to discuss export opportunities with experienced exporters from other sectors.

The Gulf region is acknowledged to be a crucial area of export growth, with UK companies selling £22.7 billion worth of goods to the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries in 2016 – more than to China and more than twice as much as to India.

Andy Smith, International Relationships Manager for the SME International Growth Project, said: “UK exports to the wider Middle East region have grown by 56% in the past decade, with further growth predicted. We want to ensure that West Midlands companies increase their share of this success.

“We’ll be providing an overview of key areas of opportunity, including major projects such as Expo 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, to demonstrate how these translate into real-time opportunities for Midlands exporters.

“Alongside a whole host of visiting market experts that can offer advice, our locally based international trade advisers from the Department of International Trade and UK Export Finance will be on hand to help businesses to boost their exports.”

The day-long event, which is to be held at Pinsent Mason LLP, 55 Colmore Row, Birmingham, will also feature sector-specific roundtable discussion groups covering healthcare and life sciences; creative industries, looking at architectural practices, design, experiential tourism, smart cities and technology; infrastructure and construction; oil and gas. A session will also be held for other sectors.

In the afternoon, West Midlands businesses from any sector can also book 20-minute one-to-one meetings with representatives from the British Centres for Business (UAE) and Arabian Enterprise Incubators LLC (Saudi Arabia), which are local delivery partners for the Department of International trade (DIT) in those markets.

The day-long event is free to attend,, but businesses wishing to do so must complete and submit a simple online form for SME International Growth Project records. To request a place and/or book one-to-one meetings, visit:

To find out more about the ERDF SME International Growth Project, visit