Christine Gaskell

Member Article

North West businesses set sights on Commonwealth trade opportunties

Hundreds of businesses from across Merseyside and Cheshire will celebrate the regions’ Commonwealth connections and explore international trade opportunities at a special event held by Cheshire & Warrington LEP and Liverpool City Region LEP.

The event at Chester Racecourse on Commonwealth Day, March 12, will mark trade and cultural links with member nations, with highlights including a visit by The Earl of Wessex, HRH Prince Edward.

Over 300 people representing businesses from across the region are set to attend the event, which will offer opportunities to access grant funding for exporting, an exhibitors and exporters’ marketplace. The event is sponsored by the British Business Bank and Department for International Trade and businesses will be able to seek expert advice and guidance at the Department for International Trade’s ‘Exporting is Great’ Hub on the day.

The event marks the launch of the first combined Merseyside and Cheshire Commonwealth Association - which aims to create a broad network of individuals and organisations committed to improving trade and cultural links between the North of England and the 52 member states.

The Chester event is part of ongoing activity designed to drive deeper engagement with key Commonwealth markets. In April, The Department for International Trade (DIT) will be hosting the UK’s largest ever Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, with 53 Heads of State in attendance at Lancaster House. The Prime Minister has identified the UK’s commitment to global free trade as one of her top priorities for the Summit, and the event will showcase a truly global Britain with open and free trade at its heart, as well as building on the UK’s existing bilateral trading relationships.

Christine Gaskell, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Enterprise Partnership, said: “Merseyside and Cheshire have always enjoyed a vibrant reciprocal relationship with our Commonwealth partners and it’s fantastic to be celebrating this rich heritage while creating new opportunities for engagement.

“This event will equip businesses across the region with the tools they need to engage and develop new relationships with the international community, deepen our global connectivity, and showcase Cheshire’s outstanding assets on the international stage.

“Broadening and deepening our links with key international trade partners is particularly important as we approach Brexit and ensuring the region is firmly on the map as a key location for trade and investment is top priority.”

The day will also include exclusive insights into trading opportunities in Australia from the country’s Trade Commissioner, alongside a showcase of businesses from Cheshire and Merseyside that enjoy successful trade with the Commonwealth.

David Briggs, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming HRH The Earl of Wessex to Cheshire to this milestone event on Commonwealth Day. Our Commonwealth connections have played an important role in shaping the region and this event provides a brilliant opportunity to celebrate and reflect on these key influences.

“This vibrant business-focused event will celebrate the rich cultural and economic links which Cheshire and Merseyside enjoy across the Commonwealth and provide a platform for businesses to explore trade opportunities across this global community.”

Merseyside & Cheshire Commonwealth Association President and Assistant Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Gary Millar, said: “Providing businesses with the information and insight they need to effectively and proactively engage with strategic international trade partners is key to the long-term success of the wider region and we’re delighted to be joining forces with the Cheshire and Warrington LEP and partners to create the combined Merseyside and Cheshire Commonwealth Association.

“With this event we are announcing the growth of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association to extend its coverage across Merseyside and Cheshire and will continue to place our vibrant and engaged communities at the very heart of trade, education, health and people. Our past successes working with the Commonwealth gives us the opportunity connect with over 52 countries spanning the globe, including Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. The values and aspirations we share create a firm foundation which enables positive collaborations and partnerships to thrive and we look forward to seeing the seeds for successful social and economic engagement planted during this milestone event.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Henry Roberts .

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