North East businesses new to exporting were given the chance to expand their knowledge while meeting others from like-minded firms at the regional launch of Export Week yesterday.
Run by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the initiative aims to encourage businesses to grow through exploring overseas markets.
Around 70 events took place throughout the country, with the North East launch being held at GT Group in Peterlee, one of the region’s most prominent exporters.
More than 100 delegates were given the opportunity to tour the manufacturing plant, which focuses on environmental design, engineering and manufacture.
GT Group, which exports to more than 60 countries worldwide, also gave a presentation about how it had forged commercial links and won contracts from overseas clients.
UKTI, the Government department that helps UK-based businesses succeed in the global economy, likewise gave advice on how businesses can access financial support and specialist knowledge to aid the move to exporting.
The TTE Technical Training Group, meanwhile, outlined how it delivers training programmes and consultancies worldwide.
Geoff Turnbull, Chairman of GT Group, said: “Export Week is an important period in the business calendar and GT Group was honoured to be chosen to host the launch event in the North East.
“Exports play an important part in the region’s economic landscape, helping drive growth, employment and the balance of payments. We hope that by hosting the briefing we will have helped stimulate interest in targeting overseas markets.”
Last year GT Group’s export prowess was recognised when it was ranked 74th in the Sunday Times International Track 200.
The Institute of Directors, The Entrepreneurs’ Forum, the North East Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses were also involved in yesterday’s event. David Coppock, UKTI Regional Director, said: “The benefits of international trade are clear with the figures speaking for themselves. Typically, companies entering the global marketplace see a 33% increase in productivity in the first year and a 30% growth in sales by the end of the second.”