2020 will be a year of genuine transition for the UK. We will enter an 11-month transition period following our withdrawal from the European Union at the end of January, during which the rules of trade with the EU will remain as they are now. Throughout this period, it will be vital that businesses take steps to ensure they are ready for new trading conditions in 2021 and, although we will not know what the future trade agreement will look like till later in the year, businesses can start gaining key export knowledge and skills now.
The IOE&IT will be delivering several training courses and information sharing events throughout the UK this year to help businesses do just this. This includes our 2020 World Trade Summit programme, which will be kicking off in Manchester on February 12th.
We are delighted to be partnering with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) in putting on this event, which features a fantastic line up of speakers, case study panels and interactive workshops in which delegates will be able to ask us key questions about global trade.
Bringing together the most knowledgeable experts in their field
Sharing best practice and experiences will be vital, especially with SMEs who are newer to international trade processes. Richard Bartlett, the Director of Business Development at the IOE&IT who will be the compere at the Summit, notes that these events carry a wealth of information for businesses in the regions. He told us:
“Events like these are so important for business for many reasons. Our World Trade Summits give businesses lots of information and allows individuals to look at how they can improve their international trading. The Summits bring together some of the most knowledgeable experts in their field, who will be openly discussing how you can trade better or shape your strategy towards exporting if you’ve not done it before.
Richard delivers several of the IOE&IT’s training courses in the region, including our Post Brexit Planning Workshops. He agrees that businesses need to start planning now, saying:
“2020 will be a year of transition for the UK, meaning change is ahead. Businesses need to be looking at their Standard Operation Procedures (SOP), which I help businesses with when delivering the planning workshops for the IOE&IT.
“Documentation is going to become so important for businesses and taking advantage of the many courses we run around the UK will help them. They need to look at their supply chain, Rules of Origin will play a very important role when we leave, and Commodity Codes will need to be looked at for future trade.”
A wealth of support for businesses new to exporting
It’s a lot for businesses to take in – especially SMEs who are newer to international trade. It’s for this reason that we partner with organisations like the Chambers of Commerce when delivering these regional Summits.
The programme often brings together support organisations in each region, providing delegates with access to a great array of expertise. In Manchester, for example, we will have speakers from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Freight Transport Association, Strong and Herd and successfully exporting businesses like St Pierre Groupe and Cocogreen Ltd, as well as the IOE&IT and GMCC.
Richard agrees that the experts at the Summit will offer a wealth of wisdom for delegates to draw on, saying:
“Support is going to be the key word for 2020. Companies are going to need honest, informative training which will allow them to prepare and be ready for probably the biggest change in UK international trading since we joined the EU.
“Leaving is going to see many changes to how businesses operate, which is why the events and support put on by the IOE&IT and Chamber Commerce are so important.”
Sustainability very much on the agenda
And our events aren’t just about Brexit. There is so much going on in international trade at the moment, from the appellate body crisis at the WTO, to trade wars between the USA and China, to the growing realisation that environmental sustainability has to form a part of businesses planning. It’s for this reason that we will look to have a focus on ‘Sustainable Trade Growth’ at this Summit and throughout our events and content this year.
Richard notes that sustainability has to form part of businesses’ export plans, noting that businesses need to have a ‘clear and organic strategy’. He told us:
“Export strategy really plays its part in sustainable organic growth. As Jim Collins wrote about how a company go from good to great and it’s through strategy and clear vision. Businesses need to look at how they will grow and how by growing they will also protect our planet. They need to be thinking about having a clear, organic and sustainable strategy.”
Sign up today!
To find out how you can have such a strategy while planning for the upcoming impacts of Brexit, make sure to come along to the Manchester Summit. The event is free for members of the IOE&IT and GMCC and costs just £15+VAT for non-members.
For more information, go to: http://www.export.org.uk/Manchester2020