Region’s exporters urged to look east

THE fast-growing economies of the Far East represent the best chance for East Anglian businesses to boost their prosperity, company bosses were told at a major export event in Newmarket.

Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne talked to around 100 bosses of small and medium-sized companies attending a briefing organised by the Asia Task Force in partnership with banks NatWest and RBS and held at the Rowley Mile Conference Centre in Newmarket.

The event included presentations on the business and political climate in 12 key Asian markets from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) advisers and UK companies already succeeding in Asian markets.

Advice on legal and risk management issues concerning Asia was also be available, together with details on the support available from UKTI and RBS experts.

With the economies of South-East Asia set to grow by 50% by 2015, the Government has put an emphasis on helping firms to sell into the region.

Jeremy Browne said: “I want to make sure companies understand the government is completely behind them and we are determined to do whatever we can to help these businesses make the sales and foreign investments that will generate jobs and prosperity.”

Vic Annells, UKTI international trade director for East Anglia, said: “Our communication links through our ports and proximity to airports are among the best anywhere.

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“We have a very skilled workforce so we are well-placed to export our goods and services to Asia. Many companies in the region are already doing business in Asia but we want more firms to join them.”

David Houghton, director of global strategic partnerships at RBS Global Transaction Services UK, which has a presence in 11 countries across Asia, added: “The export market has a huge and growing role to play in the East of England’s prosperity.

“For many firms which are exporting, Asia represents one of their most exciting business opportunities, if not the biggest.”