Export Week in the North East
Last week was a very enjoyable week for me in my role as Chairman of the North East IoD.
I was fortunate to be asked to host a variety of events throughout the week sponsored by the highly active office of UKTI in the North East and the Journal/Brewin Dolphin Economic Forecast breakfast. These events attracted the interest of hundreds of business leaders and from my standpoint I witnessed a business community ready to take advantage of a growing UK economy and willing to promote the region’s products, skills and services overseas.
Export week kicked off with an event at the GT Group in Peterlee; this amazing, family-owned, business has established several manufacturing facilities across the region, the most recent being a new factory in Peterlee. The event discussed the benefits of International Trade and how it is key to growth. The delegates listened to David Coppock, Regional Director of UKTI, Geoff Turnbull, Director of GT Group and our host for the event, and Steve Grant, Group Managing Director of TTE, followed by a panel discussion.
Tuesday saw me hosting an event in Gateshead, outlining the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) strategy for business growth across County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.
Thursday was a very early start as I hosted the Economic Forecast Breakfast event at Ramside Hall. It was an extremely positive event with the North East Chamber of Commerce reporting that orders, sales and exports have risen to unprecedented levels and that firms remain focused on recruitment and capital investment. It also reported that domestic sales and workforce indicators showed their highest levels since the survey began in 1995.
To end a fantastic and very busy week, I hosted the final Export Week event at Wynyard Park House in Billingham. The event had speakers from Tees Valley Unlimited, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Growth Accelerator, UK Export Finance, MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) and The Technology Strategy Board (TSB). The event outlined the Tees Valley LEP Strategic Economic Plan and highlighted the various Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) funded programmes ready to support North East companies.
The message from all of last week’s activities is very clear, exporting is essential activity for the whole country and the IMF now predict the UK will be the fastest growing economy in the developed world!
In June this year, a small contingency from Recognition will be going to Boston in the USA, to seek a partner PR firm that will represent our UK exporter clients in America and that might offer us a reciprocal arrangement representing US clients here. More on this when we return……….