A conference aimed at helping Cornish businesses broaden their commercial horizons and explore overseas markets has been declared a great success.
It was the first time that an event of its kind had been held in Cornwall but, with an impressive line-up of speakers, good attendance and excellent feedback, plans are already in place to make it even bigger and better next year.
In his keynote speech, DEFRA minister and local MP, George Eustice, told delegates at Healeys Cyder Farm that the post-Brexit world presented many opportunities for forging new partnerships.
He also said that it was important to take the mystery out of exporting and that small businesses in particular were being encouraged and supported to think global.
He said afterwards: “We have some great brands in Cornwall in sectors like food and drink and precision engineering and there are great opportunities for trade around the world especially as we leave the EU.
“This event was a great way to celebrate Cornwall’s success to date and to offer support to businesses considering exporting in the future.”
Mel Colton-Dyer, head of business connections and skills at event organiser, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: “The day’s very clear message was that countries like China, Japan, Brazil and many others across the world have a real appetite for British goods and services.
“A lot of smaller companies fall into the trap of thinking export is for much bigger enterprises but that’s just not the case. Pandora, the world-renowned jewellery brand, started off as a modest jeweller’s shop in Denmark so nothing is impossible.”
On hand to talk about their experiences and share tips and advice were representatives from local success stories like Rodda’s, Tregothnan Tea, Cornwall Aero Hub, Golden Tree, Jamm and Gummee.
They were joined by a range of industry experts including Stewart Ferguson, head of research at the China-Britain Business Council; international trade consultant, Linda Middleton-Jones; Barclays senior international manager, Martin Preater; Paul Warrilow from international currency exchange specialist, TorFX and Nick Platts, head of cargo at London Heathrow.