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Welsh businesses encouraged to do more internationally

South Wales Chamber of Commerce is urging companies to do more internationally, saying overseas trade is critical for many in today’s business climate

The call came at the first Welsh International Trade Dinner held by The South Wales Chamber of Commerce.

The event, at The Exchange Hotel, Cardiff, was held as part of the chamber’s initiative to bring local businesses and stakeholders involved in trading internationally together.

Speaking at the dinner was Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language. She outlined the Welsh Government’s three step International Strategy for Wales, made up of raising Wales’ profile internationally, increasing Wales’ exports and encourage more inward investment, and showcasing Wales as a globally responsible nation. South Wales Chamber of Commerce is working alongside the Welsh Government as a key partner in supporting all exporters.

“It is very appropriate to address you in this building, where Wales’ trading relationship with the world began. History has shown we have always been an outward facing and globally competitive nation. We have long welcomed inward investors into Wales and have supported Welsh companies to sell their goods overseas

“You are all part of this success and, together with partners such as the Chamber, the Welsh Government will continue to help internationalise our economy by supporting your companies to thrive and expand your exports across the globe.” She said.

South Wales Chamber of Commerce is focussed on its members succeeding and is working with HMRC to be able to offer custom expertise to their members, enabling South Wales Chamber of Commerce to offer members support to those looking at trading internationally.

In 2018 Welsh exports totalled over £17 billion with goods being exported to over 100 different nations including top five buyers; France, Germany, the USA, Ireland, and the Netherlands. 60% of exports from Wales go to the EU while in England only 48% do.

Wales strives to be known as a nation committed to sustainability, technology, and creativity. These sectors have room for growth and are expected to be unaffected by Brexit. The proximity to and association of Wales with GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre make Wales an attractive place in which to invest.

Harri Lloyd-Davies, President of South Wales Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s imperative that we recognise the contribution that overseas trade makes to the economy of Wales. In Wales it’s part of our DNA to be creating things, we have a strong entrepreneurial spirit with SMEs forming the backbone of our economy. We are a nation who prides themselves on opportunities for all and a strong sense of place weaved through our language, music, folklore, culture and our business.

“I encourage everyone engaging in business to extend their existing markets and find new ones. South Wales Chamber of Commerce and our partners are here to help businesses to continue the long legacy of trade from Wales and to support anyone looking for assistance or advice in doing so.

Anne-Marie Martin, Director Global Business Network at the British Chambers of Commerce also spoke at the event and said: “Many businesses don’t realise just how globally connected they are and is something they should be taking advantage of. We want businesses to be able to continue trading regardless of political weather.

“South Wales Chamber of Commerce can assist businesses to break down barriers, and exploit opportunities to grow, trade and prosper by offering practical support, trade services, promotion, knowledge exchange, expert advice, data analysis to help form decisions, networking opportunities and driving business solutions for business.

“We are embarking on a process of defining and mapping out what the key opportunities are and in what sectors in each market. We will provide guidelines for each market and a real focus on USP so that there is a clear differentiation between markets. This chamber and those sister chambers across the globe will be by your side, supporting you through every step of your journey.”

South Wales Chamber of Commerce is connected to 56 markets across the world which will soon be increased to 60 and again to 100 by 2023. Anyone wanting to speak to the chamber about trading internationally can contact Jo Price, Director of International Trade at South Wales Chamber of commerce, via: [email protected]