Excitement over US export showcase

A SEMINAR looking at exporting opportunities with America in the wake of Barack Obama's presidential success is being held next month in conjunction with a campaign aimed at encouraging more East of England businesses to consider export as a route to expansion.

A SEMINAR looking at exporting opportunities with America in the wake of Barack Obama's presidential success is being held next month in conjunction with a campaign aimed at encouraging more East of England businesses to consider export as a route to expansion.

The event offers business leaders access to representatives from 15 US states, via a one-to-one consultative platform, while cultural, tax and legal issues will also be addressed to highlight exporting opportunities with America.

The three-city roadshow seminar, taking in Paris, Brussels and Cambridge, will be held as East of England International (EEI) promotes its initiative “Why Now is the Time to Export”.

The campaign, in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), aims to encourage East of England firms to begin and grow their export business by highlighting the benefits of such expansion and the facilities available to help them do so.

As the UK economy continues to slow and exchange rates remain favourable for exporting, EEI believes now is the right time to diversify away from the home markets and win extra business overseas.

The Cambridge seminar on Thursday, December 4 will showcase and discuss exporting opportunities in America, just weeks before Barack Obama officially becomes President.

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The falling value of Sterling has given some respite to UK exporters and highlights the potential of looking overseas for expansion, with statistics showing that business productivity is boosted by up to a third in the first year of exporting.

David Riches, chief executive of EEI, said: “With the change of presidency in the United States and with a beneficial exchange rate, we believe there has never been a better time to diversify away from the home markets and win extra business overseas.

“America is going through a period of great change and Barack Obama's election victory has given the country renewed hope and optimism in these current tough economic times.

“The United States is still by far the largest market in the world and with the wave of optimism surrounding the new president-elect, these opportunities are likely to multiply.

“We are delighted to welcome such a strong delegate team from the United States. It will provide opportunities to discover how to expand business into the USA from UK companies who have already enjoyed success across the Atlantic.”

The seminar will look at investment opportunities in America and it will be the only opportunity in the UK to attend such a high-profile event focusing on these critical issues.

Together with EEI and UKTI, it is being supported by the Council of American States in Europe (CASE), an organisation designed at helping businesses looking to create and expand contacts in the US.

Representatives from 15 US states, a global law firm and a top accounting practice will be on hand to inform British business leaders, opinion formers, executives and entrepreneurs about the many opportunities in the United States.

The seminar entitled “Doing Business in the USA - A fresh look at the US market” will offer advice and information on investing in America, US tax opportunities and issues and a look at the practicalities and realities of doing business across the Atlantic.

Speakers will address cultural, legal, tax, visa and industry-specific issues with sectors represented including biotechnology, life sciences, medical devices, diagnostics, ICT and advanced manufacturing and renewable energy technology.

EEI's campaign explains why exporting could lead to an upturn in revenue and profits and gives compelling reasons why businesses throughout the East of England should look to internationalise.

Utilising the services of UKTI, each company is assigned a dedicated International Trade Advisor who provides free initial advice enabling a tailor-made solution to be provided for each business.

Advisors provide unrivalled access to commercial officers working in British Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions around the world ensuring in-country expertise is always readily available.

Vic Annells, International Trade Director at UKTI, said: “The credit crunch is something affecting us all - both individuals and businesses. But it should not deter companies from exploring overseas opportunities. By broadening their horizons, companies can benefit from bringing in new business.”

And Deborah Cadman, chief executive of the East of England Development Agency, added: “We wholeheartedly back EEI's campaign because there are market opportunities out there for businesses that are properly prepared.

“The combination of comprehensive funding to test market readiness, for example financial 'health-checks' from our sister agency Business Link, and the easily accessible guide to support and advice available through EEDA's innovative Business Map, can help businesses make the most of these opportunities during the tough economic times.”

The conference will be held at Murray Edwards (formerly New Hall) College, Cambridge, on December 4. More information on the seminar and “Why Now is the Time to Export” campaign can be found by contacting EEI on 08456 419955 or visiting www.eei-online.com or www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk.