Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Abroad Approach

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Abroad Approach

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Williams

The North-East is one of the smallest of the nine English regions in terms of its geographical size, population and the number of VAT registered businesses, which currently stand at almost 43,825.

But although we're small, the North-East is big in international trade and we have a lot to be proud of.

The region's exporting companies are proving every day that they can compete on the international stage. Last year figures revealed an 11pc increase in exports of manufactured goods to non-EU countries and 4pc to EU countries. This gives an overall increase of 6pc from pounds 7.5bn in 2003 to pounds 8.07bn in the year to September 2004.

And this figure does not include exports from the service sector, which would see the total continue to exceed pounds 10bn.

Just over 5pc of the region's companies are exporting, against a national average of 3pc, and the region is one of only three in England with a positive balance of payments.

UK Trade & Investment is the lead Government organisation supporting British companies to win new overseas business and compete on the international stage and 2004 marked a special milestone for us here in the North-East.

In September last year we launched a new partnership with One NorthEast, the regional Business Links, the North East Chamber of Commerce and other partners to maximise the support on offer to local companies.

This led to the creation of the new Regional International Trade Office in Durham, which has allowed the consolidation of export services across the region.

In all more than pounds 9.2m will be invested in helping the North-East export its goods and services, including pounds 3.4m of new funding from the European Regional Development Fund, awarded through Government Office for the North East. …

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