Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Trillion Pound Challenge; Government and Teesside Teesside Companies Are Already Exporting Their Products, Services and Knowhow across the Globe. but the Government Wants to See Even More Firms Embracing Overseas Trade. KAREN McLAUCHLAN Look at How Help Is at Hand to Enable Businesses to Go Global

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Trillion Pound Challenge; Government and Teesside Teesside Companies Are Already Exporting Their Products, Services and Knowhow across the Globe. but the Government Wants to See Even More Firms Embracing Overseas Trade. KAREN McLAUCHLAN Look at How Help Is at Hand to Enable Businesses to Go Global

Article excerpt

THE Government has issued a national challenge when it comes to global business. The ambition? To double exports to PS1trillion by 2020; to increase the number of firms exporting by 100,000 by 2020 and to raise the number of SMEs exporting from the current level of one in five, to the European average of one in four, by 2020.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. It also helps overseas companies bring their investment to the UK's economy.

David Coppock regional director for UK Trade & Investment in the North-east, said the region had seen export levels double in recent years, but the ambition was to keep driving the numbers upwards. "In 2007 exports were at around PS7bn," he said.

"In the last year there has been a slight dip in exports, but the figure of around PS14m still shows a 100% increase in the last six years. "By 2020 we want to see exports at PS20-21bn here in the North-east." Local trade advisers, who work with companies here in the region, coupled with schemes such as UKTI's Your Passport to Export Success, Gateway to Global Growth and The Overseas Market Introduction Service all help firm make connections overseas and take the step into exporting - or grow their global presence.

UKTI recently held an event at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium to encourage more local businesses to think about exporting.

Maria Dotsch, one of UKTI's international trade advisers, said: "We put together a programme so companies could better understand what we do and what we can offer in terms of practical and technical support. "Some companies just don't know where to start and it can be daunting to think about operating overseas.

"At the event we had about 35 companies come along who were thinking about exporting - or had maybe gone down the wrong route."

But where should companies be turning their attentions to overseas? "Indonesia, the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, South Ameria and the Middle East are all posting GDP of 5% or higher and are all target markets," added David.

And companies across a variety of sectors are seeing success in other parts of the world. …

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