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Business urged to attend UKTI 'ExportJam' to spur British exports

UK Trade and Investment is running nine events around the country aimed at helping businesses break into overseas markets.

UK businesses operating in international markets will have the opportunity to share their ideas on exporting at a series of new events organised by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

The body will be running nine ExportJam workshops across the country later this month, with the aim of looking at how the government gives support to companies that sell goods and services around the world.

It wants to make it easier for firms to reach overseas markets and the organisers are calling for representatives from businesses of all sizes to attend. Workshops will be run with professional facilitators and attendees will work in teams to come up with and test new ideas that could be implemented into their day-to-day operations.

Firms that attend will have the opportunity to network with businesses that are facing similar challenges with regards to expanding overseas, be it currency fluctuations or adapting to local customs. Across all nine sessions, a total of 270 people will spend over 1,600 hours on developing and testing new ideas for breaking into overseas markets and encouraging export trade.

In a statement, UKTI said the ideas that come out of these events "will feed directly into the work we’re doing to transform export support for British businesses - and give us concrete ideas on where we should be focusing our energies to create most value for you".

Exporting to overseas markets successfully can be the difference between a company - particularly a smaller one - being successful or not. Furthermore, the ability of firms to break into foreign territories is crucial to the health of the UK economy as a whole. 

The issue has been recognised by the Confederation for British Industry, which published a report and guide on the matter, titled Go Your Own Way. Noting that many small and medium-size enterprises have the ability to expand overseas but are held back by uncertainty and a lack of knowledge, it urged businesses to look at ways to finance exports and look at risks - such as supply chain and stock constraints - of moving beyond the domestic market.

"Improving the UK’s trade performance is central to our future prosperity - and MSBs have a critically important part to play in that process," explained chief policy officer at the CBI Katja Hall, adding the body wants to "guide MSBs through the journey from non-exporter to global business".

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