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Julie Underwood, Chamber International Trade Director

North East exporters have blazed a trail over the past year, with major international business contacts developed and figures just released today (27 December 2017) show over £1.395B of goods and services shipped overseas.

Thanks to North East England Chamber of Commerce’s international trade team, companies from car giant Nissan to beverage business Fentimans were supported to sell both products and services around the world.

As well as export documentation there were successful trade missions to China and Boston in the last two months alone.

Beverage specialist companies including Camerons Brewery, (who took their Motorhead beer) and Sunderland-base Poetic Licence attended China’s largest food and beverage trade show, FHC in Shanghai.There was a massive publicity opportunity for these firms with live streaming of the conference throughout China, reaching billions of consumers.The exporters also attended a Meet the Buyer event where they all showcased their products.

Similarly the Boston mission in early December gave businesses including Chamber members AES Digital Solutions, Datatrial and Newcastle Gateshead Initiative/Invest Newcastle the chance to build connections with industry and innovation leaders.

Lesley Moody, AES Digital Solutions said: “At AES Digital Solutions we’ve recently launched two new systems to support careers education. With Massachusetts and Boston in particular, having a high concentration of schools, colleges and universities, the Boston market visit, through consul General, Harriet Cross along with the DIT team at the British Consulate in Cambridge, provided contacts and networking opportunities that have helped us research the viability of our products in the US.”

Datatrial MD, Dr Emma Banks commented: “It is an exciting time for Datatrial as we are looking to build our international footprint further and develop our markets with three new product launches in 12 months. This will be transformational for our business given our existing and respected software platform ‘now EDC’ has been established for nearly 12 years.

“Many people who export start small and relatively local, then develop their confidence and feel ambitious to try and trade further afield.We have a whole range of sectors and countries’ trade shows lined up in the coming year, which give our North East businesses the chance to grow their client base.

“In the New Year with our Northern Powerhouse partners, for example, we are taking a mission to the Paris Maison and Object exhibition and then life science companies are going to UAE for the Arab Health Fair.There is also a new to export mission to Berlin in February with a focus on digital and creative businesses.”

The Chamber has specialist advisers who support companies to attend these events at every step of the way.It has also a dedicated export documentation service which has facilitated international trade to the four corners of the globe.

As part of its Stronger North East campaign for 2018 the Chamber is urging the Government to give more support to exporters and those who want to try international markets for the first time.There are a series of events around the region aimed at demystifying exporting starting on 9 January at Sunderland Software City with a seminar on How to Boost Your International Orders On-line.