PM Gordon Brown and the Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Davies met with the leaders of 100 of the North West’s largest exporting companies today to launch a new Government initiative aimed at assisting SME’s with exports.
Pictured: L-R – Tony Bermingham, Lord Davies Minister of State and Investment, Kevin Bird and Gordon Brown PM
The initiative, called ‘Gateway to Global Growth’, is a package of specialist financial and legal advice and goes live on April 1.
Brown and Davies addressed business leaders during a tour of high-technology engineering firm EDM, an advanced engineering company typical of the type of business the initiative is aimed at. The Manchester-based company build high technology simulation systems for aerospace and defence companies.
“We need to export our way out,” said Gordon Brown, pointing out that exports currently represent 29% of UK GDP and that the figure should increase.
Managing director of EDM, Kevin Bird said the assistance given to his team by UK Trade and Investment had played a significant role in securing a number of major contracts in the US, China and the Middle East. “Exports account for around 60 per cent of our turnover, he said, “and so they are vital to us”.
Today’s £3.5m scheme will provide access to services and third-party support via UK Trade and Investment. It is expected that around 1250 innovation based businesses will be put through the programme during the next year.
Lord Davies, when questioned afterwards by The Manufacturer, said: “The UK is recognised around the world as an innovator. Within British manufacturing there are some great examples of success. We have to be international in our mind set commercially and what UK Trade and Investment has to do is facilitate trade”.
Reporter: Richard Bott