On 6 November 2023, UK businesses celebrated the third consecutive year of International Trade Week (ITW). Led by the Department of Business and Trade (DBT) and in partnership with London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and other supporters, ITW brought hundreds of delegates and businesses together to champion and celebrate international trade. With more than 170 events across the UK and worldwide, the week was full of business opportunities.
Whether businesses were looking to secure their first export contract or expand their existing international sales, ITW had something for everyone. Throughout the week there were numerous webinars, networking receptions, workshops and many more activities that saw the UK business community come together and gain access to the market and sector experts.
The week’s activities were available for UK companies of all sizes and sectors – whether selling goods or services – with International Trade and the interest in expanding businesses worldwide being the common denominator amongst the participating companies and attendees. Businesses were able to develop their exporting knowledge and skills, gain access to trade advisers and industry experts, learn about the multiple benefits of the +70 UK trade agreements with nations all over the world and hear about the countless global export opportunities available.
LCCI welcomed over 450 guests over the week at three webinars and a networking reception. The events highlighted the importance of support, resilience, visibility, communication, knowledge, and skills in international trade. We started the week with a webinar on Understanding and Taking Advantage of Free Trade Agreements, where Peter Bishop, Board director of UKNATACO and Lesley Batchelor CBE from Export Angels submerged us through the intricates of Trade Agreements, their history, their influence in worldwide trade and economy and the most important subjects to consider when trading goods overseas. At the end of the webinar, they were joined by Alasdair MacKay from DBT in a Q&A session where delegates were able to interact directly with and address concerns to the experts.
On Tuesday, we heard from David Pena, from International Trade Matters and Duncan Gorst from Osborne Clarke, representing the London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation, who delivered the Supply Chain Resilience webinar where the audience learned the importance of prevention, planning, delocalisation, diversification, sustainability, business resilience and how to best approach conflict resolution.
On Wednesday, we moved towards International Business and were joined by the Alembic Strategy team for the Understanding Cross-Cultural Communication – a game changer for International Trade webinar, in which business strategy facilitators Wanda Haddock, Barbara Puddinu and Alice Davies shared with the audience their insights and highlights on how to nurture, secure and maintain a successful business relationship in an international environment where cultural differences and even language are part of the norm and can sometimes be the cause of unnecessary frictions that put businesses at risk.
All the webinars are available to watch on demand on the LCCI’s website.
Lastly, on Thursday, we welcomed over 100 guests to LCCI's headquarters for a networking session with an “Expanding your Business Internationally” focus.
Karim Fatehi MBE, LCCI Interim Chief Executive, The Earl of Minto, Minister for Regulatory Reform and Richard Currie, Senior Director of Public Affairs at UPS, addressed the audience and delivered passionate and inspiring speeches on the opportunites for UK businesses to explore international markets. They discussed the many resources available for companies to succeed in their overseas endeavours, including the UK Export Academy, the +70 Trade Agreements the UK government has secured, DBT’s trade advisers in the UK and worldwide, and of course, the support provided by trade champions like UPS and the LCCI.
We thank all our partners who contributed their expertise and experience to make ITW a big success. An even bigger thank you to everyone who attended our events. To contact the LCCI team, please email us at email@example.com
Prepared by: Elizabeth Skewes, Trade Services and Business Development Executive