Boost For Kent Business From Across The Sea


Kent businesses are being offered expert advice and support to start trading in mainland Europe to boost their business growth.

The UK Launch of the EU Interreg funded 2 Seas Trade project took take place on Wednesday 29 June at the Ashford International Hotel, during the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce 25th Annual Business 2 Business Exhibition.

The 2 Seas Trade Partnership has been set up to support Small and Medium Enterprises from the partner areas of Kent, East and West Flanders, SW Holland and Nord-Pas de Calais to develop new trading links within these areas.

Two one-hour project taster sessions were held during the day for Kent companies to find out about the support available from the project and the target markets. Business owners were able to speak to Kent enterprises already trading abroad and gain valuable insight from their experience.

Business research shows that companies that trade abroad grow more quickly and recover more easily after a recession. The 2 Seas Trade project is offering the tools and support to open essential trading links.

The service includes:

Support, advice and information on the Flemish, Dutch and French markets
Workshops and seminars on aspects of trade in these areas
Individual meetings with an international trade advisor and self-assessment tools
Trade missions to Flanders, the Netherlands and France
Opportunities to use the 2 Seas Trade stand at general and sector specific European trade fairs to meet potential clients and suppliers
Access to advice from relevant private sector companies such as banks and translators

Any Kent company wishing to enter these markets for the first time can take part in the 2 Seas Trade project and the following sectors are of particular interest because of similarities within the participating areas:

Business & Professional Services
Environmental Technology
Creative Industries
Logistics
Sustainable Construction
Food

The project will run from early 2011 to December 2013 and is being delivered by Kent County Council, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Business Support Kent CIC, Locate in Kent, The Chambers of Commerce in East and West Flanders, The West Flanders Development Agency (POM) and the SW Holland Chamber of Commerce.

The event also marked the start of a new initiative, Kent International Business, which aims to give Kent companies access to the necessary advice and guidance to start or improve trading in Europe. It will bring together a programme of events and opportunities, such as the 2 Seas Trade project, so businesses can get the help they need. Kent International Business will officially launch in Autumn 2011.

Kent County Council Deputy Leader, Alex King, said:

“Trade with Europe holds an enormous amount of potential for our businesses and the wider Kent economy, which is why we’re absolutely committed to helping them access the support and guidance they need to start or improve trading with our European neighbours. I would urge all businesses interested in making themselves more robust and developing their growth to come along and find out how the 2 Seas Trade project can help them.”

You can register your interest by emailing international.affairs@kent.gov.uk or visit www.2seastrade.eu

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