Member Focus: Tim Bailey FIEx - Director of Chamber International

Fri 26 Jul 2019
Posted by: William Barns-Graham

tim bailey chamber international

This member profile was originally published in the Winter 2018 edition of World Trade Matters - our quarterly member journal.

Tim Bailey, International Trade Director at Chamber International, describes his experiences as one of our longest-standing members.

How long have you been a member of the Institute of Export and International Trade?

When I became a student member of the Institute of Export & International Trade more than 35 years ago, I was working for LEP Transport Ltd, which later was bought by GeoLogistics Corporation, now part of the Agility Group. 

You became a fellow in 2017 - how did that feel?

Being made a Fellow of the Institute, in 2017, came out of the blue. It was, and remains, a huge thrill and an important career milestone.

What are Chamber International doing at the moment to help grow UK exports?

Chambers of Commerce went global long before the term “globalisation” was invented. They exist to support businesses, to help them grow, create jobs and generate wealth for local economies. At Chamber International, we operate in the true spirit of this tradition by specialising in helping importers and exporters with the unique challenges they face

We assist businesses with all the practical stuff; we see ourselves as enablers, facilitating trade. Our specialist advisors are highly experienced individuals who’ve held senior positions within industry. They’re responding to hundreds of enquiries every week from businesses all around the UK on subjects ranging from developing export plans, country requirements, reviewing export orders, methods of payment, customs, tariffs and overseas standards compliance.

We also work closely with agents in 30 countries who specialise in market introduction services, holding regular Skype meetings to review ongoing projects or discuss one-off interventions from somebody “on the ground” when required.

Do you work much with the Institute?

On Thursday 12 September 2019 we’ll be hosting the Global Business EXPO in partnership with the Institute. This event will see trade specialists from China, Brasil, Turkey, Chile, USA, Dubai and Saudi Arabia coming to Leeds to hold meetings with businesses, to help shape their post-Brexit export ambitions.

Chamber International and the Institute share common goals – through innovation and the application of technology, we want to help exporters to become as successful as possible.

The Institute’s “Open to Export” website, one of many innovations developed under the leadership of Lesley Batchelor, is by far the most helpful UK online resource for exporters, bringing together experts from various fields to answer questions on all aspects of exporting.  

How important is it for people to understand how global trade works?

If the UK is to flourish as an independent global trading nation, then those entering exporting, both young and old, must be well trained in the many complexities of doing business overseas.

Respected worldwide for setting and maintaining educational standards for our industry, one of the Institute's many achievements is that it keeps its training and qualifications bang up-to-date in a rapidly changing environment for exporters and importers.

What is the biggest tip you'd give to new members?

My most important tip for new exporters joining the Institute is that they should do so, not because they feel they have to, or as a box-ticking exercise, but in order to become as actively involved as they can, attending meetings in their area and developing contacts with other members locally or in their business sector. Very often one person’s experience, or contacts, can solve another’s seemingly intractable problem.

Brexit has got more businesses thinking about how they can access demand overseas; we’re seeing a record number of new enquiries and we’ll be increasing the number of people on our client services team to meet this demand.

Britain is at an important crossroads as an exporting nation. Never before has the UK and its exporting sector needed, in the way that we do now, a strong international professional body. The Institute is certainly top-class but, just as the UK is expanding its global trade aspirations, I would like to see membership numbers grow.

All new members should see themselves as active ambassadors who can recruit new members.  Together we can help the Institute be the powerful, world-class, professional body which Britain needs in order to meet the challenge of adjusting to new trading arrangements, and doing even more business with the biggest, fastest-growing economies in the world.

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