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Wales strengthening European partnerships as Brexit deadline looms

Wales’s determination to maintain and strengthen its links with European partners will be the focus of an international business-to-business event taking place later this month.

Despite Brexit uncertainties, the Welsh Government will tell the international delegation from the Atlantic Food Export Project that Wales remains an outward and welcoming nation, which is open for business.

The business-to-business event is taking place thanks to Wales’s involvement in the €1.8million European funded Atlantic Area project, co-funded by the Welsh Government and delivered by BIC Innovation. The project helps small food and drink companies to work together to overcome barriers and be competitive across global markets.

Nearly 50 delegates will attend the event in Wales from across the project regions, including from France, Spain, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. They will participate in a packed schedule of events to further explore and develop collaborative relationships between the Welsh and European food and drink sector.

The delegation will be officially welcomed by the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, who will underline the Welsh Government’s determination to maintain good relationships with European partners, by saying:

“Whatever the future brings, our resolve to not only maintain but to strengthen our partnerships with nations and regions across Europe is absolute.  We know collaboration is the right thing to do, we know that we can learn from one another and we know that the Welsh food and drink sector is stronger because of these partnerships. The framework in which we operate may be different but our ambition to co-operate across borders is stronger than ever.”

The Atlantic Food Export Project brings together the collective skills and experience of food industries across Europe. Welsh companies participating in the scheme have had the opportunity to visit the other regions, explore collaborative partnerships with like-minded food and drink SMEs and develop joint market access activities such as study tours and trade fairs.

The international delegation is meeting alongside the BlasCymru/TasteWales international trade conference at the Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport on 20-21 March.

BlasCymru/TasteWales is set to attract more than 600 participants from across the World, coming together to network, hear from international industry experts, as well as sample the many great food and drink successes produced in Wales.