On Friday 29th June 2012 Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, and Richard Benyon, MP for Newbury, jointly held an exports-themed seminar entitled “Exporting for Growth”. Alok and Richard organised the event to offer practical advice and assistance to local businesses interested in growing their exports or starting to export for the first time.
The seminar was held at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre at the Madejski Stadium, and was attended by around 100 people representing more than 70 local businesses in Reading and West Berkshire. The event was opened by Alok and Richard, who welcomed attendees and outlined their vision for an export led recovery. Presentations followed from:
Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership – on the local Berkshire economy, the priorities of the Local Enterprise Partnership and how businesses could get involved with the local business community to “Collaborate for Growth”.
Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment – on the need to reform the economy away from a reliance on consumption fuelled by debt towards a more sustainable model based on trade and inward investment. Lord Green also answered questions from business leaders on what the Government was doing to improve access to finance.
UK Trade & Investment – on the support available to businesses looking to explore overseas markets, with advice on key target markets to approach.
The Institute of Directors – on working with export licences and practical best-practice advice.
The response to the event was overwhelmingly positive and attendees expressed an interest in attending further sessions. The aim therefore is to organise a some further events, showcasing export case studies from a range of sectors and offering further practical advice to local businesses interested in exporting.
“There has been a great response from the business community to this event and I was delighted with the turnout for the seminar. The speakers represented a huge amount of business experience and they set out some good practical advice for attendees.”
“We want to build on this seminar and hold further events in the coming months where attendees get to hear the experiences of other local firms which are successfully exporting to the growth economies and learn from these case studies.”