The region’s largest business membership organisation is rising to the Government’s challenge to double annual exports to £1tn and increase the number of UK exporters by 100,000 by 2020.
The North East Chamber of Commerce is working with the British Chambers of Commerce and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to develop a global network of business-led organisations to provide practical support to exporting companies in the UK, offering a seamless journey from their local chamber of commerce to fully accredited British Business Centres overseas.
The North East is already the only region with a positive balance of trade in exports, but NECC is aiming to further enhance its reputation with the introduction of a regional co-ordinator to link North East businesses with overseas networks.
Gary Roe will play a key role in creating a global B2B network by connecting the new overseas British Business Networks to NECC and other UK chambers.
The Prime Minister recently launched an £8m programme to enhance these overseas business networks designed to provide SMEs with practical vibrant spaces in which to land and get started in overseas markets.
In addition to support offered by UKTI and chambers, these business centres will provide other services – from hot desking to PR and discounted advice from experts – across 40 high-growth markets such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Poland.
NECC international trade manager, Brian Dakers, is urging all regional firms looking to open lucrative export markets to take full advantage of this new drive and Gary’s expertise.
He said: “Developing strong relationships between domestic and overseas networks will be Gary’s first priority. Working alongside representatives from other regions, he will help provide our firms with a powerful global business-led support network, working alongside UKTI for the first time.
“Markets selected have been prioritised as high-growth markets but are often seen by our SMEs as difficult to access so it makes sense to provide more B2B support in these countries. In time, this will help position UK businesses at the forefront of global growth opportunities.”
Gary Roe said: “The North East has an enviable export record and remains the only region with a positive balance of trade in exports. However, we currently have a small number of large-scale exporters and we need to encourage more of our SMEs to explore these potentially lucrative overseas markets, which will be my key focus.
“The creation of this integrated overseas business network will deliver quality services and maintain high-quality customer relations so that companies can see solid and sustained progress in their overseas markets”.