The Government will sign new five year contracts with locally based providers to deliver export support to businesses, Trade Minister Lord Livingston announced.

The preferred bidders have been chosen by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the length of contracts will give businesses consistency and underline the Government’s long term commitment to increase the number of companies that export.

All the providers will be locally based helping companies start exporting or increase their overseas business by finding customers in new markets, taking part in trade shows and exporting online around the world.

The lengths of the contracts also mean that English companies will be eligible to bid for up to £100 million in additional export support through the European Structural & Investment Funds.

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said:

“I am delighted that we can commit to long term contracts and provide the support that businesses need to break into new markets creating jobs and growth for their region.

“UKTI will be working with locally based organisations and will ensure that public money is targeted at where it is most needed and spent responsibly.”

In the West Midlands, the winning bid from West Midlands Chambers of Commerce LLP was supported by all six regional Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) as well as the region’s Universities, Science Parks, local MPs and many businesses. The Chamber teams will be working with the LEPs and other local partners to ensure that International Trade services are delivered to meet the needs of local businesses in line with LEP priorities.

Paul Noon, UKTI’s Regional Director in the West Midlands said:

“Congratulations to the West Midlands Chambers in securing this important contract that is fundamental to the 2020 Export Drive. Increasing exports is vital to the future success of the UK economy. I am confident that delivering support to exporters locally, through International Trade Advisors based in the six Chambers of Commerce, and linking companies to UKTI’s extensive overseas network will help even more companies from this region export and continue the impressive growth in exports seen in the West Midlands in recent years.

Allen Matty, West Midlands Chambers of Commerce LLP’s Managing Director, said:

“We have a strong track record of providing international trade support to businesses in the West Midlands, having delivered the programme for the past eight years. Our unique model of local delivery by Chambers of Commerce, our vast connectivity, networks and market reach, together with our understanding of UKTI and successful track record won us the contract, against tough competition

“In the last 12 months our 43 International Trade Advisers across the region have assisted more than 3,500 companies win over £1bn of sales worldwide and we look forward to continuing this over the next five years by assisting all types and sizes of business, encouraging more companies to export for the first time and assisting current exporters to expand into new International markets

“The UKTI International Trade offering through the Chambers enables us to help companies to trade overseas by developing strategic plans; researching markets; exploring overseas joint ventures and visiting overseas markets and exhibitions. Support is also available for export documentation, language and translation services; export training; all from experts with detailed knowledge of different markets and sectors.

“We are looking forward to introducing several exciting new and innovative services for the region’s established exporters and those looking to export for the first time. We will provide easy access to the practical help available to get into new markets and win new business overseas”

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) helped a total of 47,960 businesses in 2013 to 2014 to export for the first time or find new markets through its extensive network of specialists in the UK and in British embassies around the world.

The preferred bidders are:
West Mids – West Midlands Chambers of Commerce LLP, A partnership of all West Midlands Chambers of Commerce
South West – Business West incorporates the Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Chambers
South East – GLE, a not for profit Enterprise Agency
London – GLE
East – Exemplas Trade, owned by Owned by University of Hertfordshire
East Mids – EMB, A not for profit business 75% owned by East Midlands Chambers of Commerce – the Chambers covering Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Northampton
North East – North East Chamber of Commerce
North West – Chamber Link who contract with six major North West (NW) Chambers of Commerce and other NW Chambers for the delivery of UKTI services
Yorkshire and Humber – Enterprise Growth Solutions, A partnership of Exemplas and Reed Solutions

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