Market visit to India declared a success

Northeast businesses return to the region clutching many a business opportunity after a fruitful and worthwhile week in India.

Tuesday 12 March 2013, Wilton, UK: After a gruelling schedule including road and rail travel between Mumbai, Vapi and Dahej in Gujarat, India, the NEPIC led UKTI Trade Mission, members have returned home with many fond memories of their visit to both urban and rural regions of India – clutching all important business opportunities.

As well as attending a thoroughly interesting two day conference held by NEPIC and the Indian Chemical Council (ICC), where top people from the Indian chemical industry and many from around the world a were in attendance.

At every stop on route the Market Visit members were greeted with overwhelming warmth and hospitality, not least because they were accompanied by Local MP Ian Swales in his role as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the chemical industry.

Mr Swales is the MP for Redcar, a constituency which is home to one of the biggest chemical parks in Europe at Wilton, was also recognised as a community leader, as well as an ex-industrialist from the chemical industry and brought even greater gravitas to each occasion.

The aim of the market visit of course was to identify trade opportunities and many participants have reported that they have indeed identified new business opportunities.

Their sentiments are summarised by Ian Stark, CEO of Middlesbrough based Chemoxy International: “What a tremendous and well organised trade mission. My sincere thanks to NEPIC, UKTI and Ian Swales for making this trip a great success. From a Chemoxy perspective this was a really fruitful trip with two significant tangible projects identified, which if successful, will deliver in excess of £2m of revenue”.

Mr Stark continued: “There were also numerous additional benefits of the visit. From superb networking opportunities and identification of potential partner companies, both as agents and toll manufacturers, to visiting eight chemical plants in some of the most important productions regions of India – all accompanied by MP Ian Swales, which provided additional gravitas and opened many a door”.

“The trip far exceeded my expectations and we achieved much more as part of this delegation than we would have done as lone travellers. The relationship NEPIC has built with the Indian Chemical Industry is outstanding and this was exemplified by the overwhelming welcome we received everywhere we went!”

Mr Ian Swales MP added: “We were all taken aback by the overwhelming reception and kindness from our Indian hosts. It was very clear how well the work of NEPIC is respected in India, especially when Stan Higgins and his team were the key partners for the Indian Chemical Council in the delivery of their annual conference.

Ian continues: “In my discussions with members of the market visit I was able to see the desire of local businessmen from the Northeast to become involved in the tremendous growth in the emerging markets. Visiting these markets with a respected organisation, such as NEPIC, clearly opens doors that businesses on their own could not enter.

“I will be telling my Parliamentary colleagues and civil servants that sector led market visits can bring real value to our efforts to increase the UK’s international trade, simply through their deep knowledge of the market and the intensity of their networks.

Mr Swales concluded: “I have written to all the organisations we met in India thanking them for receiving us and for sharing their experiences with the group and advised that I will be monitoring the outcomes of this market visit, which I know will bring mutually beneficial trade.”

Stan Higgins CEO of NEPIC, whose staff organised and accompanied the business trip, said: “The feedback from participants has been excellent. We must encourage more and more local SMEs to get involved in such visits in order to grow their markets.

Higgins concluded: “This is where the action is and the opportunities to participate can be de-risked through Cluster to Cluster relations and networks. NEPIC has been building access to India for many years and now it is up to local business to take advantage of these relationships.”

Full details of the NEPIC’s visit to India is available via the NEPIC Blog

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