INTERNATIONAL TRADE MATTERS (ITM) LTD – held a round table debate on global business issues affecting South West firms, at the Castle Hotel in Taunton recently.

Bibby Financial Services sponsored an informal dinner and was chaired by Frances Fawcett, (ITM) export coach, international marketing, and a licensing specialist in North America

Frances Fawcett, said: “The evening was an opportunity for local business leaders to meet informally and discuss issues facing local organisations as they seek new opportunities in these uncertain times.”

“The group discussed practical collective solutions, and the sharing of best practices, looking at business standards, and all agreed that despite current challenges and uncertainty, opportunities exist for more South West firms to export in new emerging markets across the globe,”¬†she said.

Participants included Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Philip Byers, Director of the Barnstaple Chamber of Commerce, Marcus Broix, Director at Trade with Europe Ltd, David Riddell, Project Manager at Business West, Kevin Kelway, Director of Dorcas Media, Michael Rye, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Belarus, Tom Egan, Business Development Manager at Leonardo Helicopters, Tom Seymour, Business Development manager at Bibby Financial Services, and Tom Butler from Denis Brinicombe Group Limited.

The debate centred on Brexit and the performance of South West companies working in the global market place, and highlighted best business practices that could be shared including reputation risk, building trust, and creating a level playing field for UK business post-Brexit.

Tom Seymour, Business Development Manager, at Bibby Financial Services,¬†added: “I found the evening acknowledged the business challenges we face, however, the sheer optimism and pragmatism presented at the round table dinner brushed any concerns aside. It was a fantastic evening and Bibby Financial Services were delighted to sponsor the dinner,” he said.

Meanwhile, 82-year-old Michael Rye, who comes from Plymouth, and the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Belarus – is interested in South West businesses of all sectors looking to export to the East European country that borders Poland and Russia.

Mr Rye, said: “I’ve been connected to Belarus for over 24 years, and been the Honorary Consul for the last 10 years. My role is to open doors, network, and help South West and UK businesses wanting to export to the country. I’m looking to organise a trade mission next year to the Republic of Belarus with the support from International Trade Matters LTD and Chambers across the region”.

Mr Rye was born in Lower Compton in Plymouth, and for much of his career he worked in the British film industry, and especially 15 years with Walt Disney Productions.

In the early 1990’s he organised one of the biggest aid convoys to Kosovo with his long-term links with the Devon & Cornwall Rotary Clubs.

Anyone looking for more information about a potential trade mission to the Republic of Belarus or International Trade Matters can view on their web portal: www.internationaltradematters.com



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