Chamber International Trade Forum – USA and Belgium are Open for Business!

Posted 30 April 2018 | 0 Comments

The WCNW International trade team were pleased to meet again with exporters from the region in the prestigious Eisenhower Suite of Churchill house on the 24th April 2018 for its’ 9th International Trade Forum.

We were very fortunate to have speakers who had travelled from the States and Belgium to present and the resounding message which came out from the meeting is that the USA and Belgium are open for business!  Russ and John both gave excellent presentations on North and South Carolina and how the area is suitable as a ‘soft landing’ into the USA for market penetration.  Their companies are specialists in those areas http://www.globalconsultingtrust.com/ and http://www.upstatescalliance.com/.

If you require any assistance in scoping out the possibilities of doing business there, please contact the Chamber and we would be happy to introduce you to them.

Laurence Slangen of Spi, gave an interesting presentation on Liege, Belgium.  Liège, a city along the Meuse River in Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region, has long been a commercial and cultural hub and is funded by the Belgian government as an economic development area, making it a great place to start to export with its proximity to Germany and the Netherlands.

We also had an excellent exporter case study given by Sarah Cross who is founder of high-end beauty product brand Code Beautiful, who sell to Harvey Nichols and heavily online.  Sarah gave a personal account of how she has had the support from the Department of International Trade to start her export journey on the Passport to Export programme in order to expand her brand.  She gave an interesting insight into what it is like to found and run a business from scratch as well as juggling motherhood, what the trials and tribulations of taking overseas trips are like and how to overcome them with the support of in-country Chambers of Commerce.

Finally, the Chamber were pleased to launch the British Chambers Business Brexit Checklist.

This has been prepared in response to findings which suggest that a significant number of firms are either watching and waiting – or taking no action at all with regards to Brexit.

Things to consider;

  • Have you/your management team devoted time to considering the potential consequences of Brexit – direct or indirect – on your business?
  • If you have one, have you consulted with your Board of Directors on Brexit – or scheduled an opportunity to do so?
  • Have you mapped your supplier and customer base – and considered how changes in the UK-EU trade relationship could affect them?

These are some of the questions that you should be considering during the transition period. We hope you find the Toolkit useful as a basis for business planning at both operational and Board level.

The next International Trade Forum is on the 17th July 2018 and will be themed on accessing the Chinese and Hong Kong markets.

For those interested in training staff on international trade processes and procedures, we have a limited special offer for an extra 5% off export training courses until the 27th June 2018, this is on top of the 10% 7 course discount and membership discount (if applicable.)

Please contact Debbie Hancox d.hancox@wcnwchamber.org.uk for further details.