Suffolk: Chamber’s export campaign welcomed by Lord Stephen Green

A YEAR-long campaign launched by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to encourage the county’s businesses to step-up the drive for export trade has received a double endorsement.

The chamber’s adoption of “Exporting is Good for Suffolk” as its theme for 2013 has been welcomed both by Lord Stephen Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, and by Richard Heald, chief executive of the UK India Business Council.

According to Suffolk Chamber, businesses in the county which are engaged in exporting have higher levels of production than non-exporters, achieve a stronger financial performance and are more likely to stay in business, making them a key driver of growth and job creation.

“It is crucially important that we promote our firms’ goods and services and support their efforts to export to overseas markets,” said John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber.

“Our Chamber was established in 1884 and has a strong history of support for international trade, a tradition proudly maintained today as many of our member companies continue to be involved in international trade, shipping and logistics.”

The chamber’s theme for 2013 echoes the British Chambers of Commerce campaign Business is good for Britain which ran throughout 2012.

Lord Stephen Green, who visited Suffolk shortly before Christmas, said in a latter to the chamber: “Both the Prime Minister and I are totally committed to supporting UK companies to win more business overseas.

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“We both whole heartedly welcome your ‘Exporting is Good for Suffolk’ campaign for 2013. The programme of activity looks very exciting and will undoubtedly produce positive outcomes.”

Richard Heald from the UK India Business Council ,which leads on international trade links between UK firms with India, said: “The benefits to businesses and to the UK economy of exporting are clear. For example, whilst British exports to traditional markets such as the European Union, have dropped slightly by 7.3%, exports to the rest of the world have risen by 13.2%.

“I therefore believe the Suffolk Chamber’s Exporting Year is an excellent and much needed initiative. The UKIBC fully supports this programme,” he added.

Activities planned as part of the chamber’s Exporting is Good for Suffolk campaign during 2013 include:

n A series of Suffolk International Trade Group events featuring high-powered speakers;

n A suite of international trade services, including a series of one- day continuing development courses, a foreign exchange service and a translation service;

n Working with the Felixstowe Port Users’ Association to agree and sign a concordat to create joint working to represent the interests of the ports, shipping and logistics sector; and

n Identifying case studies of successful first-time and experienced exporters, underpinned by a PR and communications strategy to push the message of the importance of trading overseas to developing and growing a business.