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Trade mission organised to Eastern Europe

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: August 29, 2014

By Olivier Vergnault, WMN Business Editor, Twitter: @OliVergnault

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A trade mission to Eastern Europe is being organised to drum up business for Westcountry companies.

A delegation of business leaders led by the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, the Torbay Development Agency and representatives from UKTI will visit the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, in a bid to help Devon and Cornwall businesses identify opportunities, meet highly relevant partners and secure help and advice on winning contracts.

The trip is part of the Plymouth and South West Peninsula City Deal initiative and is due to take place in November this year.

Cate Taynton of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce said: “This Trade Mission will offer businesses a prime opportunity to explore the EU markets on our doorstep.

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“Opportunities exist for businesses in Engineering; Agriculture; Infrastructure; Food and drink and much more in the areas which we are visiting.

“With these markets open to UK products and with a population with a growing disposable income we’re keen to highlight the benefit of trading within the EU to South West businesses.

“With straightforward logistics costs, documentation and practicalities for businesses trading within Europe there are great opportunities for South West businesses, but they need to be there in person. That’s where this trade mission can help.”

Mrs Taynton said the City Deal funding was in place to encourage Westcountry businesses to explore and consider exporting as a means to grow their business.

She added: “We’re able to subsidise the cost of this Trade Mission, making it even more affordable for businesses to explore the benefits of trading overseas.”

The Plymouth Chamber of Commerce is now encouraging companies to get in touch with them to see if they can be part of the delegation going out to Eastern Europe.

Sarah Hildersley, regional coordinator – South West, international UK business network, which is linking accredited UK Chambers with partner British Chambers in emerging and high growth markets, said: “Most companies know that the potential for export growth is mainly concentrated in emerging and high growth markets overseas.

“However, they may not be aware of how sizeable those opportunities are, nor how easy it is to do business with Central and Eastern Europe, where demand for UK products is growing rapidly, and where documentation requirements are straight-forward.

“Levels of English in Hungary and Slovakia, and neighbouring markets, are high and consequently, the growing middle class will often be very interested in our technology, our food and drink and they have disposable income which they are willing to spend on our goods.

“By taking a group of companies out to make contacts and do business, Plymouth Chamber is enabling their members to grow their export business – something we all want to see.”

Plymouth Chamber will be hosting a briefing session about the November visit ahead of their upcoming Plymouth International Trade Club meeting on September 11.

The trade mission to Eastern Europe will take place between November 3 and 7.

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