On 10th July, COMIT (Chambers on Merseyside International Trade) and UK Trade & Investment hosted an event titled ‘Doing Business with the Balkans’ at the Village Hotel in Whiston, which was attended by businesses from across the region. The event was held as part of UKTI’s Export Challenge, which aims to help 1,000 businesses start exporting or to enter new markets in 2012, and coincided with a visit by Commercial Officers from Serbia and Croatia.
As markets that not only offer potential in their own right but can also be used as gateway markets to South-Eastern Europe and candidates for EU membership, there is increasing demand amongst Merseyside companies to learn about the opportunities for trade across in these markets.
The presentations from the Martina Hatlak (UKTI Zagreb) and Alex Brooks (UKTI Belgrade) highlighted the opportunities for North West companies to export to the region in sectors as diverse as digital and creative, education, security, environmental and logistics as well as offering advice on how to conduct business in these markets.
Representatives from local companies A Algeo, Alphasonics and The Aspire Trust also shared their experiences with trading in the area from a multi-sector perspective.
On trading with the Balkans, Nick Owen, director of the social enterprise Aspire Trust, said: “Working in the Balkans has been an exhilarating, challenging and ultimately life-enhancing experience, which has benefitted both our business’ bottom and top lines. We have successfully enhanced the livelihoods, skills and knowledge of young creatives working in the cultural and digital sectors – and generated income to support the growth of our company into the bargain.”
Due to the growing interest in the region, UK Trade & Investment will host a potential North West trade mission to Serbia and Croatia from 22nd to 26th October. For further information, contact Ian Parker, Operational Team Manager at UKTI, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.