There is no reason why history cannot repeat itself and Cornwall become one of the world’s greatest exporters again. This was the rallying message at the Export Evolution event to inspire and motivate local business people to seize overseas trade opportunities.
Over 100 people attended the one day event yesterday (November 13) organised by UK Trade & Investment’s Export Cornwall service to promote the business growth benefits and positive economic impact of international trade for Cornwall.
The guest speaker was former MP and Minister of State for Trade Sir Richard Needham, who was instrumental in developing overseas sales for the vacuum giant Dyson.
Sir Richard, who grew up In Penryn and has a home in Feock, said: “Cornwall was one of the world’s greatest exporters 150 years ago in the heyday of mining. The question is can Cornish businesses find the opportunities their great-grandfathers did 150 years ago – and there is no conceivable reason why not.”
He encouraged the business community to take risks and take up the UKTI support services available to identify and seize export opportunities, adding: “The Cornish did it before, and they can do it again.”
David Bone, chair of Export Cornwall, reinforced Sir Richard’s message, saying: “We’re going through a new revolution now with superfast broadband and improved transport links so there is no reason we can’t return to the days when Cornwall was the world’s most successful exporter.
“Export Cornwall can provide expert, tailored support to enable companies to make the most of the opportunities out there right now.”
Nicola Evans, UKTI’s head of international trade for Somerset, Devon, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, added: “We wanted to bring companies together to inspire and encourage them to consider exporting overseas; to showcase the support available for them through programmes like Export Cornwall, and to enable them to meet other companies in a similar position so they can link up and help each other.”