Paul Griffiths: Co-ordinator will help boost firms’ exports

Paul Griffiths
Paul Griffiths

Let me share with you an interesting statistic: Northamptonshire Chamber’s International Trade Team enabled £0.25bn worth of goods to be shipped overseas in the past financial year.

Through our export services we processed documents enabling firms to mirror the successes they have had nationally on a global level.

We are delighted to be the first in the UK Accredited Chamber network to have a regional co-ordinator in a dynamic programme to boost trade overseas for the East Midlands as a whole, raising the support and opportunities available for the county’s exporters.

Northamptonshire Chamber is one of nine chambers of commerce chosen to participate in the Overseas Business Network (OBN).

This is a ground-breaking partnership between the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to facilitate a dynamic network of BCC and business groups in key markets across the globe.

Through a programme of capacity building, lead generation and quality accreditation, our mission is to provide practical, business-to-business advice and opportunities to SMEs seeking to export into new markets, and thereby support the Government’s ambitions to radically increase both the value of UK exports and the number of SMEs who are exporting.

The regional co-ordinator will support the overseas business networks, drive up the export pipeline, help profile overseas business opportunities and work with wider regional business networks. They will act as the local interface within the OBN programme, which will be co-ordinated by a management team at the BCC.

I believe through this programme we can increase the visibility of products and services provided from this region in overseas markets.

The chamber, along with others in the East Midlands, is keen to see the efforts of local and regional businesses come to fruition in their desire to export, not only for the first time, but in penetrating new markets too. With the enhanced support provided by a regional co-ordinator, I am confident we will help more companies achieve the success associated with trading overseas and increase the value of our regional exports.