News - 12 September 2014

Chamber Launches Export Support Programme

The region’s biggest business organisation has launched a package of support for the East Midlands’ exporters on the back of an unexpected fall in overseas trade.

New figures released this week show that the UK’s trade deficit for July – calculated by subtracting total exports from total imports – now sits at £3.3bn, increasing by almost £1bn on the previous month.

Imports swelled by £1.3bn to £34.2bn in July 2014 – their highest level since October 2013 – while exports grew by only £500m, to £24bn.

In response, the Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire has launched a new series of country-specific networking groups to encourage local firms to come together to help each other become better, smarter and more confident in doing business abroad.

The networking groups will engage with the other strategic partners to ensure strong communication and input to drive export opportunities to businesses in all local communities.

Each group will focus on a key target market for British exporters, namely: China, India, South East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, West Africa and North America.

The networking groups form part of a wider package of measures to help boost exports from the East Midlands. The Chamber is also part of the Government’s Overseas Business Networks initiative, a Government-backed scheme which aims to use the world’s biggest business brand (Chambers of Commerce) to drive international trade.

Initiatives the Chamber is delivering as part of its commitment to OBNi include a full revamp of its International Trade Forum, which brings business leaders from across the patch together every two months to talk about breaking export issues, along with sector-specific events and seminars, market visits and business matchmaking services in some of the 41 key export markets identified by Government.

Chamber Chief Executive George Cowcher said: “There are many highly-competitive and world-class companies from our patch which are already successfully exporting.

“But, as a country, we lag significantly behind other countries in having a world-class global business-to-business network that can support both existing and new companies benefit from export growth.

“The economic benefits of having such a network can be extremely attractive to businesses in transforming the number of business opportunities that are received from overseas and turning them proactively into real exports for companies.

“The Chamber is working to support this by bringing together existing and potential exporters through its new networking groups, as well as delivering a host of other events and initiatives throughout the year, all designed to get more of our businesses exporting.”

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