Encouraging new investment and exports is crucial to the success of the Government’s Plan for Growth, which has set ambitious targets to more than double the value of exports to £1tn by 2020.
The North East is already one of the most successful regions of the UK when it comes to exporting its goods.
David Coppock, UKTI regional director for the North East, said: “In the North East many companies are already reaping the rewards of going global.
“There was a total of £12.346bn worth of goods and services exported from the region over the 12 months up to September 2013.
“And last year’s winner of the New Exporter/SME Exporter Award – Fentimans Ltd, of Hexham – is proof positive that Exporting is GREAT.”
The company enjoyed a 27.5% growth in business during 2013, with a large part of it from export markets which doubled over the year.
Coppock added: “Our aim is to get 100,000 more UK companies exporting by 2020 so that they too can see that Exporting is GREAT.
“Our Exporting is GREAT campaign aims to inspire those new to exporting and also SMEs with an appetite for growth to consider exporting and reassure them that exporting is no more risky or challenging than many other options.
“We want to recognise the efforts of those that have already taken those first steps into international trade with this year’s New Exporter Award.
“And we hope that by rewarding and highlighting their success, it will encourage others to take up the challenge.”
The North East Exporters’ Awards, in association with NECC, UKTI and HSBC, celebrate and recognise the efforts of companies making a huge contribution to both the regional and UK economies.
They look to acknowledge and celebrate the strength and diversity of North East exporting, and also recognise individuals who have helped their company boost its international sales performance.
Last year entries nearly doubled for these awards, which are now recognised as the main export awards for the region. The awards dinner will take place on Thursday, May 15, at Ramside Hall Hotel, County Durham.
Deadline for entries is Friday, March 21.
New Exporter Award: A business that started exporting within the last two years and can demonstrate significant export success in one or more markets.
SME Exporter Award: A business with turnover of up to £25m that has demonstrated exceptional achievement in export.
Supporting Export Award: A business with turnover up to £500m that does not export itself, but plays a key role in supporting our region’s exporters to trade overseas. This can either be directly, through providing logistical support, or indirectly through providing associated services such as advice and consultancy.
Export Team of the Year Award, sponsored by NECC: A team working in export who can demonstrate significant added value to their business through adopting innovative techniques, personnel development, and successful implementation of the companies’ export sales strategy.
Mid & Large Exporter Award, sponsored by UK Trade & Investment: A business with turnover in excess of £25m that has demonstrated exceptional achievement in export.
Overall Exporter of the Year Award, sponsored by HSBC: The overall winner, which is chosen from the winners of the above awards, plus other export award winners in the region.
JUDGING CRITERIA AND ELIGIBILITY
In determining the winners, judges will take the following factors into account:
Product range being exported.
Development of export strategy.
Percentage of growth in export sales.
Staff development measures undertaken (for the team award only).
Complexity and number of markets served.
Obstacles/barriers to success
Export Week - Grow your Business
Export Week - Grow your Business starts on April 7 with events taking place at a variety of venues across the North East.
On Wednesday, April 9, UKTI and partners will be hosting Regional Networks – Your Gateway to the World’.
The region’s sector-focused clusters and networks have many strong international connections that North East companies could use to enter new markets or find new customers in existing markets.
Using these networks to develop international trade has many benefits which most companies overlook.
This event will map out the regions connections, demonstrate how wider networks provide more opportunities, how they can de-risk trade activity and speed up market entry through existing relationships.
The event will also highlight how regional organisations are working together to coordinate market visits, how UKTI are supporting this activity and how they can also potentially support your business.