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Suffolk: Chamber forms partnership to boost trade with Belgium

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:24 29 May 2014

Glen Vaughn, left, chief executive of British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, and John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

Glen Vaughn, left, chief executive of British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, and John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

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Suffolk Chamber of Commerce added a European flavour to the Suffolk Show has it launched a partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium to highlight the benefits of trading together.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce added a European flavour to the Suffolk Show as it launched a partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium to highlight the benefits of trading together.

Guests at the launch of the joint initiative between the two chambers and the Port of Ostend were told that Belgium is the sixth-largest market for the UK economy.

“As we rightly look for businesses in Suffolk to engage in new exporting opportunities around the world it is easy to forget that some of the most lucrative markets are right on our doorstep.” said John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber.

“The benefits of trading with Belgium are immense and it really is the gateway to Europe and the many varied markets the continent offers.”

The joint initiative is being sponsored by Food Port and managed by the West Flanders Regional Development Agency in Belgium.

“Most firms are surprised when we tell them that the UK exports 50% more to Belgium than to China.” said Glenn Vaughn, chief executive of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium,who also addressed guests at the show.

“It is a big market to get into and one that we are encouraging more and more firms from across Suffolk to get into. There are numerous benefits for us working together and today’s event at the first class Suffolk Show has been a great opportunity to highlight those advantages.”

Mr Dugmore added: “Our markets are similar in many ways. For example we both produce high quality food and drink and the launch event today enabled locally based firms to share business opportunities.”

Also at the launch, where guests were encouraged to try out Belgian produce including fruit, vegetables and beer, were Wim Stubbe from the Port of Ostend and Richard Carty whose UK-based firm Netshield has established an office in Brussels.

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