More than 50 Midlands companies hoping to expand into new markets or who are looking to start trading globally are closer to achieving their ambitions after attending the first Future Markets event this week.
The event at iCentrum, Birmingham Innovation Campus, saw export advisers from 20 countries offering advice to businesses that are keen to broaden their export markets. Regions represented included China, India, USA, South Korea, North Africa and Latin America.
Organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands with Barclays Bank and Innovation Birmingham, the Midlands Engine-funded event attracted representatives from 53 companies across a wide range of sectors, such as healthcare, advanced engineering, and fashion and creative industries.
More than 200 one-to-one meetings took place during the day, providing the catalyst for many attendees to begin exploring export opportunities in the countries they were interested in, or to test the waters in markets they might not have considered previously.
Christine Hamilton, interim regional director of the Department for International Trade West Midlands, said: “More businesses are now looking at global markets and this event gave many of them the impetus they needed to start the exploring further the options open to them.
“We are delighted with the feedback from both the export advisers and the companies who attended. Organising events such as this is part of the comprehensive support that we offer any business that wants to start trading overseas – from advice on accessing markets to providing detailed reports and insight into their target sectors.”
Adam Foster, commercial co-ordinator of Warwick-based Godiva Ltd, the leading independent manufacturer of fire-fighting pumps for the emergency services market, said he attended because the company was investigating opportunities in markets that may not yet be familiar with the brand.
He said: “Being able to speak to representatives from so many key markets at once was the ideal opportunity for us,” he said. “We are experienced exporters, with our products already in use in over 100 countries, but are always keen to further expand our customer base. The meetings we attended were incredibly helpful and will enable us to progress our plans.”
Fiona Homes, of Malvern-based Laronkarn Ltd, which specialises in animal and bird repellents, added: “We are already working with the Cambodian team, following a meeting we had in Birmingham in June, and we are hoping to build on this and look for opportunities elsewhere. Being able to start a conversation with so many markets under one roof was incredibly helpful.”
Any business that wants to find out more about exporting should visit www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk for real-time export opportunities and book an appointment with a local international trade adviser (ITA).