Export drive could boost NW

Clive Drinkwater of UKTI

Clive Drinkwater of UKTI

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The North West economy would get a £2bn boost if every business in the region selling overseas expanded to one more global market, according to an expert.

Clive Drinkwater, regional director at UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) North West, said international trade was key to aiding economic growth and urged businesses exporting to push further and those considering overseas sales to take the plunge.

The body has launched a new package of support for first-time exporters including training and advice on selling overseas, the chance to take part in trade missions to develop contacts with buyers and an online tool to assist planning.

UKTI is sponsoring the Exporter of the Year category of one of Lancashire’s biggest business awards, the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which is in the penultimate week of judging to select its winners.

Mr Drinkwater (pictured) said: “I am challenging all exporting businesses in the North West to export to one more market.  

“If every current exporter achieves this, we could increase the GDP in the North West by an estimated £2bn, significantly aiding economic recovery.

“The Government’s ambition is for exports to reach one trillion pounds and get 100,000 more companies exporting by 2020. Selling abroad is the surest path to successful, sustainable, long term growth and companies that export become more productive, more innovative and more efficient than those that don’t. Research shows they are also more likely to survive a recession than those firms that do not export.”

The BIBAs will hand out 18 prizes to firms across the county and judges are continuing their second round of interviews until July 2 which will see panels go out ‘on tour’ to visit the premises across the county.