Pictured (left to right): James Ahearne, Ian McKinney, Jenny Iatelese, Ajay Desai, David Hooper, Adam Revill
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce partnered with Gallagher Insurance to stage the Beyond Brexit – Going For Global Growth event at the Ricoh Arena as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival.
The event heard from Jenny Iatelese, from the Institute of Export and International Trade, and Ajay Desai, Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, which runs the Department of International Trade service from its International Trade Hub.
They were followed by an expert panel of Ian McKinney, of Gallagher Insurance; David Hooper, of Independent Freight and Hooper & Co; and Adam Revill, of Cranfield Business Finance.
Jenny said: “UK businesses should be looking into this now. We are starting to close the gap on export and imports and we want to continue that.
“We will need to continue to trade with the EU post Brexit as the EU remains our largest trading partner.
“Companies were set the ambitious target of doubling exports by 2020 by the previous Chancellor but that was before the decision to leave the EU. We believe a more realistic target is to make export 35 per cent of GDP, increasing from 30 per cent.
“There is a world of opportunity out there and it’s important that companies tap into the support available to make that happen.”
Ajay said firms should speak to his team at the Chamber to help them plan their export strategy.
He said: “Coventry and Warwickshire is doing extremely well when it comes to international trade and our team has already smashed through its targets for the financial year with five months still to go.
“It’s important to say that the help is here for businesses. We can advise on which markets to look at and how to approach them. We have a network of support across the globe and businesses across our region can tap into that.
“Brexit is happening and, whatever its final form, it doesn’t prevent businesses from looking at new markets right now.”
Ian McKinney, of Gallagher Insurance, added: “We were very pleased to support this event. We have to keep getting the message across to companies that there are so many opportunities out there and lots of support to access.”
The Chamber will be running a number of events in the coming months to help businesses prepare for Brexit. For more information, contact the International Trade Hub at the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or www.cw-chamber.co.uk/events