With the world moving out of recession, delegates attending the Global Opportunity conference on international trade at Newmarket Racecourse listened to Digby, Lord Jones, chairman of HSBC’s International Business Advisory Board and former Minister of UK Trade & Investment on why the time was right to start exporting.
In an impassioned 40-minute presentation, Lord Jones (pictured) said: “By exposing your business to overseas competition you make yourself more productive, more competitive and more innovative, which then improves your performance in your home markets and makes you much more resilient in coping with today’s challenges.”
He went on to talk about the key global markets of opportunity for UK business, including China with a potential market of 1.3 bilion people who are becoming increasingly prosperous, India which has a society and culture suited to UK enterprises and the Middle East which admires British business and wants to buy from us.
The 27 nations of the EU and the USA – the UK’s biggest trading partner – were other regions to exploit, Lord Jones said.
The event was organised by East of England International which works on behalf of UK Trade & Investment to help businesses across the region exploit overseas markets.
Also speaking at the event was HSBC’s chief economist Mark Berresford-Smith. He delivered an upbeat view on the economy and encouraged business to explore overseas markets.
The conference also heard from David Evans, chairman and chief executive of Hertfordshire-based business performance consultancy firm Grass Roots Group plc, who spoke about how he grew his business from a basement operation to a global company employing over 1,000 around the world.
East of England International chief executive David Riches said: “We’re delighted that we had such a high level of interest in the event which is a true measure of the importance businesses across the region are attaching to exporting.
“Last year we saw a 3.8% increase in the number of businesses starting to export and so far this year exports from this region have exceeded £20 billion.”