UKTI Export Week and the Kent Adventure

Held by UK Trade & Investment from, November 9th, Export Week is aimed at businesses that want to either start their export journey or increase their international business.

We are highly aware of the importance of export for UK companies “Exporting not only helps individual companies to grow but also plays an important role in improving our trade balance.”, said Crispin Simon, Acting Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment.

Most people will have heard of the need to grow exports in order to boost the UK economy, but many entrepreneurs rightly ask the question: ‘What’s in it for me?’ and this is why Export Week is an opportunity to find the answer to this question.

Case Study: The Kent Adventure
In Kent, ten food and drink  companies decided to take the challenge of broadening their business boundaries and visited Germany, thanks to a grant that the Kent County received from the government’s GREAT UK Challenge Fund. The project was not only aimed at increasing exports among Kent food and drink companies, but also at promoting Kent’s food and drink heritage to boost tourism.

The ten companies involved had the chance to visit a major three-day trade fair in Germany, Anuga, which brings together around 150,000 industry experts from across the globe. The businesses not only secured meetings with new business contacts from all over Europe, but also gained insight into emerging industry trends such as the need for cleaner, clearer labelling for consumers, the rising importance of ‘free-from’ products and how texture is becoming as important as taste.

The GREAT food from Kent project will enable some 50 companies to identify potential business contacts in overseas markets and will be organising additional visits to France and Belgium in the next few months. Many of the county’s businesses have significant export potential but can face barriers when seeking to expand their work overseas which is why the project is providing opportunities for Kent firms to forge new international links. KCC Cabinet Member for Economic Development Mark Dance said: “This visit was a great opportunity for Kent firms to experience one of the world’s largest food & drink trade fairs, gain market insight, make new international contacts and broaden their business into the export market”.

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