The British Chambers of Commerce organised International Trade Summit 2018 was held in the etc Venues close to Liverpool Street station in London in mid-October 2018. This was attended by a large group of delegates from individual Chambers of Commerce around the UK as well as overseas chambers from countries such as Pakistan, Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, China, Iraq, Finland, Turkey, Nigeria, Philippines amongst others.
I was attending in my Marketing & Communications role representing CALGAVIN Ltd, an Engineering company based in Alcester, UK and a member of Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
The event was chaired by Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce. In his opening address Dr Marshall raised the importance of expanding the airport and ports so UK goods can be exported quickly and efficiently.
The event used the resources of the Department of International Trade (DIT) with the opening keynote given by Baroness Rona Fairhead, UK Minister for State for Trade and Export Promotion, who works in the DIT.
Baroness Fairhead, who has a background in industry including managing the BBC Trust, explained that “Exporting is where the trade is, with UK quality standards and innovation is the export partners of choice, with the UK being the EU’s second largest export market (closely after the USA)”
She went on to explain that the UK is targeting 35% exports as part of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The DIT’s GREAT campaign was raised as a great initiative, with details found at www.great.gov.uk .
Next up was the first panel session, all chaired by Hannah Essex (Co-Executive Director of Policy and Campaigns, The British Chambers of Commerce) and was looking at The Changing Face of International Trade – What does it Mean for Business? On the panel was Nina Schick (Director of Data & Polling – Rasmussen Global), Alan James (Strategic Alliance Manager, Avalara Europe Ltd), Dr Linda Yeuh (Fellow in Economics at St. Edmunds Hall, University of Oxford and Adjunct Professor of Economics at London School of Economics) and Wilson Del Socorro (Global Director of Government Affairs (Diageo PLC).
The panel touched on the BREXIT discussions and commented on the possibility that transition might be extended beyond December 2020,
remaining in the Customs Union longer. For UK businesses this stability (assuming a deal is struck by the UK Government with the EU) will help business plan better in the short term.
Dr Linda Yueh explained more about the options if we go into World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules as well as the loss of the EU VAT simplification rules.
At the end of the panel questions were raised from the delegates, including
- How are trade Tariffs going Forward?
- How important is the Trusted Trade European Economic Operator status?
And a question from the Pakistan chambers around the interaction with the Commonwealth countries
After a refreshment and networking break next up was Andrew Mitchell, the first of nine Trade Commissioners recently appointed, with Mr Mitchell representing Europe.
He explained how his role was to help the UK industrial strategy by working with the 43 states/countries that are part of Europe. Opportunities that are available including offshore windfarms. He advised delegates to get a copy of the British chambers of Commerce BREXIT checklist to assist with their planning.
Following this was another panel session – Trading the World – Be Inspired! With Praveen Vijh (Co-founder Eat Natural), David marks (Managing Director Levity Crop Science), Nicholas Georghiades Chief Operations Officer Alison Hayes) and Adam Sopher Co-founder and Director Joe & Sephs).
The panel advised getting your company brand trademarked in as many countries as possible. For new
exporters they advised:
- Do it in Depth (for each country traded with)
- By Region
- Is a Region worthwhile entering?
- Get the right partners, not necessarily the biggest
- Spend quality time in-country for better leads and orders
Then the delegates broke out for the three Breakout workshop sessions, either side of lunch, from the main sponsors.
- How to turn export opportunities into profitable growth – Bibby Financial Services
- A journey to global e-commerce success – DHL Express
- Foreign exchange and international payments – saving money and managing currency risk in an uncertain economic environment – MoneyCorp
The final panel looked at The Power of Brand – Making it Global with Erin Graybill (Managing Director, Niré Beauty), Jacob Thundil (Chief Executive Officer, Cocafina) and Katy Starling, Head of Marketing & Communications, DHL Express).
The panel looked ethical branding, the unboxing experience and user guides and brand value. They questioned if brand value is determined by the company or customer.
Trade marks were discussed with options explained including UK and EU, the two types of China trade marks – one for what it sounds like and one for how it is written. Social media was discussed and the options for multi-languages versions to cater for different language speakers/cultures.
The final keynote was given by Gerry McGovern who is the Chief Creative Officer for Land Rover.
Mr McGovern, who was born in Coventry, went through the design options and experiences on how he had moved the brand into looking at design first, before engineering got involved.
His strategy has 4 levels – modernity, relevance, sustainability and desirability with designs looked at it terms of visceral, behavioural and reflective.
He explained that the future automobile options need to be looked at by relevance, legislation, connectivity, electrification, autonomous driving and mass global urbanisation.
When asked how the different foreign owners (Ford and TATA) changed the culture and which was best explained that when owned by Ford they were constrained by multiple levels and bureaucracy but with TATA this boss Mr Ratan Tata has a great interest in design and architecture and let the UK Design groups manage this area while he managed the new infrastructure and investment into the company.
Dr Adam Marshall then wrapped up the event before inviting the delegates to a networking drinks reception.
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