The Swansea Launch of the Wales Exporters Association (WEA) sponsored by Wolfestone a locally based translation company, saw a great turn out by local companies on 8 October at the popular Village resort in Swansea.
The Swansea Launch of the Wales Exporters Association (WEA) sponsored by Wolfestone a locally based translation company, saw a great turn out by local companies on 8 October at the popular Village resort in Swansea. The rebrand incorporates the former West Wales organisation, with ongoing developments planned in North Wales, seeking to create networking opportunities for large and small business in Wales to encourage international trade, help with CPD and develop supportive relationships with governmental support and decision-making organisations. Speakers included Eleanor Harris, Head of Trade at Welsh Government, Anne Salter, Regional Manager at Business Wales and Hayley Vincent, International Officer at Business Wales. Stephen Smith, Chairman of the Wales Exporters Association introduced the rebrand and explained how South Wales’ exporters can now be fully supported by and link with support and advisory bodies. “Since 1994 we’ve been helping businesses with exporting and now we are an all Wales association we can provide support for businesses in a larger geographical area– this will focus to begin with in South Wales, but we will tackle North Wales support at a later date. We offer so much in our association – 7 or 8 events per year, including themed events on exporting to the Middle East and Europe and also we cover different sectors like renewable energy – last year we did an event with Hydro.” Eleanor Harris explained how Welsh Government is looking to promote exporting to Welsh SMEs with their International Trade Programme. “Exporting is a top priority for Wales, it’s good for both the businesses and economy of Wales and although we are doing well we still need to do more. In 2004 the value of exports was 13bn in Wales and outpaced the UK in terms of relative growth. Wales currently provides 4.6% of UK’s exports which is about right for its population size but there are many SMEs who could be exporting who aren’t already. Our job is to inspire businesses to export, build capability by transferring knowledge and skills and help them connect with new markets.” Anne Salter Business Wales said, “Business Wales plans to help businesses wishing to export or already expanding their exports with superfast broadband (SFBB), how to use cloud technology and our online workshops called ‘BOSS’ which involves live chat facilities for business to use. Plus then, the ongoing specialised international trade support we provide.” Hayley Vincent, International Trade Advisor, Business Wales said, “Encouraging and getting everyone on board is what it’s all about. There are so many businesses who are trading in Wales but not necessarily exporting. Raising awareness of the opportunities out there and then providing advice and insights into how our SMEs can get the biggest yield for their products and services is our purpose in Business Wales. Where to start, how to narrow down your choice of marketing, planning what to do and the journey ahead to reach goals. In Wales we are really only a pea in a pod – and the secret comes down to preparation, preparation and preparation. Many businesses go in too quick and are not sustainable. They take a quick and fast approach. Often then, things don’t tend to last in the long run, errors are made, as there are pitfalls to exporting. We can help with logistics and pass on information about legislation and regulations. Our ITD programme includes support on Missions and Trade and we can help you find the contacts you need in business, help warm up those leads and contacts for you in new markets for example China.”
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