Companies across the region are being urged to act fast to ensure they do not miss the deadline for the prestigious North East Exporters' Awards.
The annual awards ceremony and dinner recognises the achievements of the region's top export champions whose efforts are making a huge contribution to both the regional and UK economies.
The awards, now in their seventeenth year, are sponsored by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and HSBC, and recognise the efforts of individuals who have helped their companies boost its international sales performance.
The winners will be announced at the awards dinner, which will take place on Thursday, 12 July, at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.
James Ramsbotham, NECC Chief Executive, said:
"Our export community has excelled once again this year and its performance perhaps demonstrates why the North East is growing more strongly than much of the rest of the country.
"It is, therefore, only right that we give exporters the recognition they deserve and the North East Exporters' Awards is a terrific occasion to celebrate the successes of the last 12 months.
"The awards continue to attract some incredibly strong entries and I expect this year to be no exception."
David Coppock, UKTI Regional Director for the North East, said:
"The North East's export performance continues to grow and in the last year we've exported a record £13.5bn. There are many individuals across the region who are playing their part in this success and we want to recognise and celebrate their achievements.
"I am greatly looking forward to this year's event. The quality of entries already submitted is proof that that many companies in the North East are realising the significant business benefits to developing international markets and we're keen to encourage others to get their applications in before the deadline on 31 May 2012."
Pat Dellow, Area Commercial Director at HSBC said:
"HSBC are delighted to be once again sponsoring the North East Exporters' Awards. Whilst the domestic economy remains challenging we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of businesses trading overseas and targeting new markets to spread their business risk. These awards enable us to recognise and acknowledge those individuals who are successfully contributing to the region's export success."
The five categories in this year's awards are:
New Exporter Award
An individual new to exporting within the last two years who has demonstrated exceptional achievement for their company.
Low Carbon Award
An individual engaged in export who can demonstrate significant commercial success from a product with environmental benefits.
Expanded Horizons Award
An individual who can demonstrate his/her success in seeking and identifying new markets and securing new business for his/her company.
Export Team of the Year
A team working in export who can demonstrate significant added value to its business through adopting innovative techniques, personnel development and successful implementation of the company's export sales strategy.
Overall Achievement Award
The overall winner, chosen from the applicants shortlisted for all categories.
The awards will go to those who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most for their companies in pursuit of export business. The overall winner of each award will be presented with a cheque to the value of £1,000.
Click here to enter your nomination to the North East Exporters' Awards
Tickets for the North East Export Awards are on sale now and are priced at £55 (ex VAT) for NECC members and £70 (ex VAT) for non-members.
To book your place at this event call 0300 303 6322, email email@example.com or visit www.northeastexportersawards.co.uk