Brexit offers overseas trade opportunities
The triggering of Article 50 will not hinder the opportunities for successful overseas trade by companies from the Leeds City Region. But there has never been a more important time to take advantage of the support networks available for businesses considering accessing international markets to ensure they have the right tools to succeed.
The triggering of Article 50 will not hinder the opportunities for successful overseas trade by companies from the Leeds City Region.
But there has never been a more important time to take advantage of the support networks available for businesses considering accessing international markets to ensure they have the right tools to succeed.
These were two of the key messages delivered by a panel of successful business leaders at the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Let’s Talk….Selling Overseas seminar event, as part of the LEP’s #LetsTalkRealBusiness campaign which aims to make business support as no-nonsense, honest and straightforward as possible.
Hosted by global brand design consultancy Elmwood in Leeds, the audience of business leaders from across the region was told by Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the LEP, that the LEP business growth service is the gateway to a wide range of support services and funding to help companies either grow their international market share or access new territories and sectors for the first time.
Mr Marsh highlighted China as a potential “game-changing” market for Leeds City Region companies to trade with following his experiences on a recent trade delegation to the country.
He said: “The appetite for British made products in China is insatiable. When one considers that the middle classes of China are as large in relative terms as the whole of the European Union you start to open your mind to the possibilities.
“The LEP is the glue helping to bring businesses together with new markets. We, and the other support organisations and networks out there, need to help companies considering trading in overseas markets to take their plans from conception to reality.”
The expert panel of Elmwood founder Jonathan Sands, Kevin Butterworth of Seabrook Crisps, Robin Hilton of Research Bods and Victoria Hopkins of Hopkins shared their experiences of trading overseas with the audience.
Mr Sands, who has driven the footprint of Elmwood to include studios in London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Melbourne, recounted his experiences of growing a global business.
He agreed with his fellow panelists that the triggering of Article 50 – marking the start of the UK’s two year exit process from the European Union – offered opportunities for businesses internationally rather than challenges.
“It’s all about having the right mindset for growth and believing in yourself,” Mr Sands said. “Attitude is a big factor in business and by thinking globally businesses have countless opportunities.”
Ms Hopkins added: “For us, and I’m sure for other businesses, we see Brexit’s impact as more of an opportunity to further broaden our horizons on the global stage.”
John Pemberton-Pigott from the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council also spoke about the trade opportunities in the Commonwealth and the organisation’s programme to help SMEs.
If you would like an informal chat about opportunities and the support available, please contact the LEP’s Growth Service Team on 0113 348 1818 or email businessgrowth@the-LEP.com.