On Wednesday 13th December 2017, the ITW (Interregional Thematic Workshop) meeting was held at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, focusing on “The importance of the Foreign Office and Regional Activities (in the Midlands) in internationalisation support activity” 

Christine Hamilton highlighted the importance of the Department for International Trade (DIT) and how regional teams supported by an overseas network of over 100 Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions helped SMEs export. Throughout the discussion with partners Christine confirmed that the main role of the DIT was to bring together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down the barriers to trade and investment and thus helping businesses succeed.

Andy Smith joined the discussion and stressed the importance of overseas delivery partners and the global business network to meet the UK governments manifesto goal to increase UK exporters by 100,000. The overseas network allows for a bigger integrated pool of overseas support with access to a range of differing support packages dependent on need.

Patrick McCarron presented the funding channels that support export activity, highlighting the importance of the combination of funding from both the Department of International Trade and ERDF in helping to meet their ambitious export win targets.

The Interregional Thematic Workshop closed with partners having a better understanding of the importance the Foreign Office plays in regional activities and this directly support SME Internationalisation in the region and how this is embedded in national and regional strategy policy.

You can read the full minutes of the ITW HERE.