Export boost for Solent businesses thanks to new deal

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TWO key business organisations have joined forces to ensure companies across the Solent are getting the best possible help to boost overseas sales.

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and government export body UK Trade and Investment South East, have signed an agreement which sets out how the two organisations will work together.

They aim to combine forces to boost the Solent’s export performance, improving the turnover and profits of local businesses.

This will support UKTI’s pledge to get an additional 100,000 UK firms exporting and increasing exports to £1trillion by 2020.

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP chairman and Rory Pereira, south east deputy regional director for UKTI, signed the memorandum of understanding at UKTI’s office in Whiteley.

It sets out how the two organisations will work more closely together to deliver events, trade missions, export documentation, and provide support for small and mid-sized businesses.

Mr Jeffries said: ‘With three international gateways at the ports of Southampton, Portsmouth, and Southampton Airport, we believe that the Solent is the best place in the UK to export from.

‘We want to see more of our local businesses taking advantage of our unique location and assets by exporting to new markets, allowing them to grow and create jobs here in the Solent.

‘The agreement demonstrates our commitment to this and is an important landmark in shaping the work we will do with UKTI.

‘This closer relationship will enable us to better align our local business support services with national offers – giving Solent companies easy access to international trade advisers, advice surgeries and international trade events.’

Mr Pereira said: ‘As a key location for the marine sector, containing one of the main ports for the UK’s imports and exports, a huge naval base and world class marine research facilities, the Solent area relies on exports and the national economy relies on the Solent area to boost them.’

He added: ‘We already work closely with Solent LEP but this agreement will helps us to formalise this partnership.’