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13 December 2011

Minister’s visit aimed at encouraging exports

A GOVERNMENT minister has launched a drive to try to encourage North West businesses to increase their exports.

Published on Tuesday 13 December 2011 10:42  - Lancashire Evening Post

A GOVERNMENT minister has launched a drive to try to encourage North West businesses to increase their exports.

Lord Stephen Green, the Minister for Trade and Investment wants to see businesses sending more of their products abroad and has offered prizes for those with the best ideas for getting things moving.

Lord Green visited the Concorde Conference Centre at Manchester Airport on Monday, to host the Exporting for Growth event, to try to encourage business growth.

During a speech yesterday, Lord Green said the North West is perfectly placed to drive the country's economic recovery.

He said: "The North West has a proud tradition of innovation and a remarkable industrial heritage.

"Three-quarters of the nation's top 100 companies are located here. The North West is a world leader in nuclear energy, number one in the UK in pharmaceuticals, the biggest exporter of chemicals and a centre of excellence for the aerospace and automotive industries. It is strong in service industries and has outstanding universities.

"Its commitment to R&D investment is exemplary, with centres of excellence such as the National Biomanufacturing Centre and Daresbury International Science and Innovation Campus.

"And with the BBC's relocation to Mediacity, it is home to the biggest media hub outside London.

"What this means is that the North West will be at the forefront of delivering on the national challenge."

The event which was organised by the UK Trade and Invesment is part of a bid to increase the number of small and medium-sized businesses from 20% to 25%.

Clive Drinkwater, regional director of UKTI North West, said: "Less than a quarter of the estimated 10,000 medium-sized firms in the UK export, and most of those that do are already receiving help from UKTI.

"I am determined to drive up exports and the number of exporters in the region, and am setting a target of at least 1000 new companies in the North West, beginning their export journey with our help in 2012.

"There is demand all around the world for products from the North West but too many of our smaller firms are missing out on these opportunities, and UKTI have the expert staff and the relevant support packages to help them take the first step. All they have to do is pick up the phone and ask to speak to an international trade adviser.

"And for small companies with a big export idea our competition, with the fantastic prize on offer, could be the springboard to international growth that you need."

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