International trade week launched to support businesses to grow overseas

Matt Dyson of Rockit
Matt Dyson - Rockit

The Department for International Trade has launched the first International Trade Week.

A series of events will include business and sector led activities, with workshops and events available for businesses of all sizes and sectors.

These will be hosted by expert trade advisors, MPs and ministers.

Businesses in the South West and beyond who have not exported before are being encouraged to get involved in the new week-long event to develop the skills to successfully take their business offering to new markets.

The event will take place from November 15 to 19 across the UK, aiming to encourage UK businesses to export and sell to the world, and showcase the support that is available to help them do so.

Businesses can find the full events programme at www.events.great.gov.uk/website/5827/home/

Sessions include: What do the United Kingdom’s Free Trade Agreements mean for your business? and a round table discussion highlighting the launch of the Export Academy and subsequent ITW events that will follow.

South West events include:

Agri-tech sales opportunities in Vietnam – 15th November
The Export Shed: What is the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and what does it mean for UK companies? – 16th November
How to sell consumer, fashion, lifestyle, and luxury goods to China – 17th November
Understanding the Agri-tech market in Latin America and the Caribbean – 18th November
New trade opportunities in AsiaPac for UK companies due to the CPTPP free trade agreement – 18th November
The Retail Lab – Uncovering the consumer goods and food and drink retail scene in Australia and New Zealand – 19th November

Businesses will also hear from Export Champions in the region. Export Champions are successful exporters who volunteer their time to encourage and inspire other businesses to grow through international trade and provide peer-to-peer support.

Matt Dyson, co-founder and CEO of Rockit, a tech company based in Bristol which produces portable sleep aids for children, and South West Export Champion said: “For SMEs who have not exported before, the thought of it can be really daunting. It is reassuring to know that there is loads of help and support out there, with International Trade Week being a great place to start.

“We started exporting our sleep products from day one with no previous experience. With support from initiatives like this, exports now make up over 60 percent of our sales.”

Figures show that businesses who export are more productive and pay their staff more. But only one in ten British businesses currently export, with DIT Ministers keen to boost this figure through a broad package of tailored support.

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West said: “We want to equip more businesses with the tools and skills to be successful exporters as we know international trade can increase a company’s likelihood of surviving long-term.

““I’m delighted that the first International Trade Week has been announced.

“Exporting is a crucial element of the government’s plans to level up the UK, and this week of events is a great opportunity for businesses to learn how to approach new markets with the best chance of success.”

For further information on DIT’s exporting support and international opportunities, visit www.great.gov.uk

Companies in the South West can find out about their export options and contact one of DIT’s International Trade Advisers by visiting www.businesswest.co.uk/department-international-trade-south-west