More than 20 West Midlands companies have made their first steps towards trading with countries in South East Asia after meeting export experts who flew in from the region.
The Fast-Track Your Growth in South East Asia event saw more than 70 one-to-one meetings take place in Birmingham yesterday (May 3 2018) between a wide range of local companies and trade advisers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Organised by the ERDF SME International Growth Project and Britain in South East Asia (BiSEA), the event was hailed a success as the experts said a number of businesses were already in a good position to start – or grow – their exports in the next financial year.
Peter Rimmer, executive director of the British Business Group Vietnam, said: “It has been a really useful event, seeing a good selection of clients, some who are very ready to start trading, while others will need a little longer to begin.”
Olivia Widen, of the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, said: “The UK’s key strengths are in areas such as education, technology, healthcare, aerospace and renewable energy. There’s a misconception about the difficulties of accessing the South East Asia markets, but it is far easier than China, for example.”
Andy Smith, International Relationships Manager for the ERDF SME International Growth Project, said: “Local businesses are really opening up to the possibilities in the South East Asia region, which is the fastest-growing in the world. We were pleased to see so many companies from many sectors who have the ambition to see what opportunities there are.
“There’s no substitute for speaking to the trade advisers from the regions because they have the expertise and contacts to help them get on the right route for exporting.”
To find out more about the ERDF SME International Growth Project, visit goo.gl/1jYuES