A look back at 2017 - an eventful year for the Institute

Thu 7 Dec 2017
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
IOE News

2017 has been another event packed year for the Institute of Export and International Trade.

With the commencing of the UK’s negotiations for leaving the EU taking place in the spring, there has obviously been a lot of focus on what impact Brexit will have on the UK’s exporters – something that was reflected in each of our trade summits in Northern Ireland, Plymouth, Coventry, Cambridge and London.

Other key developments included the announcements of a new chairman and president, our landmark session at the World Trade Organisation Public Forum, taking over Open to Export to bolster our support for smaller businesses, and our continued dedication towards increasing professional trading skills through our qualifications, training and our apprenticeship levy.

We also hosted our annual graduation ceremony in May, the Queen’s Award Gala Dinner in September, and the Annual Members’ Dinner at the start of November – all of which were inspiring and fabulous events.

Relive the highlights from 2017 below, and we look forward continuing to strive towards international trade excellence in 2018.



National media consults Institute for opinions around Brexit

In response to Theresa May’s 12-point plan for Brexit in the famous Lancaster Speech, Lesley tells the Guardian that ‘trade post-Brexit is not going to be one simple cure-all. It’s going to take lots of attempts to get it right.’

Globalisation a greater good

Lesley warns about the threats of protectionism to the greater benefits that globalisation has had for international trade and economies around the world.


Launch of our new website

The Institute launches a vibrant new site, offering a range of exciting new features. The clean, modern design created a professional-looking site to take the Institute forward.

Lord Green announced as our new president

Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint - a former Minister of State for Trade and Investment - is appointed as our new President.


Our survey reveals high optimism for global trade

The Institute’s Export Optimism survey shows a strong enthusiasm for growth, with 97% of respondents expressing optimism for global trade opportunities.

Three Export Action Plan competitions in one month – Open to Export

Open to Export host 3 fabulous showcase finals following competitions run for food and drink, creative and tech, and the east of England.

UK officially files for divorce from the EU

The UK triggers Article 50 thereby commencing the 2-year period for negotiations for the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU. IOE&IT Young President Arne Mielken discusses what this could mean for the UK exporters.


Institute conducts Export Strategy Development training in Ukraine

Director of Special Projects, John Reed, delivers training in Ukraine as an on-going part of the Institute’s contract with the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD).


Lord Mayor speakers to our students at a fabulous graduation ceremony

The Lord Mayor of London talks to our students at a glittering graduation ceremony at Mansion House.

Watch his speech from the ceremony here, and get to know our inspiring students.


Lesley speaks at World Trade Symposium

Lesley speaks on a panel co-organised by the Financial Times and MISYS Financial Software, tackling: 'Transforming trade: Driving financial inclusion through globalisation and digitisation.'

Bridges not Borders: the Northern Ireland Trade Summit

Businesses and trade thought leaders gather in Belfast to discuss how to plan for the potential impact of Brexit.

1-year on Brexit survey highlights importance of single market

One year on from the UK’s referendum vote to leave the EU, plenty has happened. We went back to our members and fellow exporters to track their views, attitudes and desires around Brexit in another survey.


Bringing education and export together - the South West World Trade Summit

Run in partnership with the University of Plymouth’s Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research, the summit highlights the need for the UK to invest in its export skills and embrace it’s creativity and ingenuity.

The IOE&IT and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

The Institute works with NAS to highlight the commercial benefits of apprenticeships for all businesses engaged in international trade.


Meet the Queen’s Award winners

Ahead of the Queen’s Award dinner in September, we speak to some of the winners in the International Trade category.


IOE&IT hosts landmark session at the WTO Public Forum

Lesley and Arne deliver the session ‘Learning International Trade: How formal qualifications help us reap the benefits of global trade’, including presentations from international organisations involved with teaching trade skills.

You can watch presentations from the session here.

HRH the Princess Royal attends the Queen’s Award Dinner

The Institute plays host to a majestic evening of celebration at the Royal Horseguards Hotel on Wednesday night, with Princess Anne privy to an inspiring congregation of Queen’s Awards winners and key international trade figures.


Bracing ourselves for Brexit - the London World Trade Summit

With the theme of the summit mitigating risk around Brexit, the general consensus among speakers is that the risks involved in Brexit are very serious, especially with uncertainty still reigning in regard to what direction Brexit will actually take. 

Watch this panel discussion from the summit for an in-depth analysis of what the trade landscape post-Brexit might look like.


‘Beyond the EU’ Export Action Plan Competition final – Open to Export

Open to Export host the 7th Export Action Plan Competition final at the Embassy of Switzerland and once again it was a fascinating day of pitches for the £3000 cash prize by 9 inspiring SME exporters.

Institute take part in panel discussion at the Embassy of Switzerland

The Institute partners with Swiss Business Hub UK & Ireland to host a panel discussion on Swiss and UK approaches to ‘Best Practice in Export’. HE Ambassador Alexandre Fasel makes the opening remarks and hosts a fabulous networking reception afterwards, which included fine Swiss wines and delicious canapés.

Institute visits its latest graduates in Moldova

The Institute visits its latest graduates in Moldova to award the certificates for a very special programme of activity to support and build capacity in terms of international trade skills. 

Terry Scouler CBE announced as new Chair at the Members’ Dinner

The Institute hosts its Annual Members Dinner at One Great George Street in Westminster, with Michael Portillo as keynote speaker.

Dealing with the practicalities of trade: the Cambridge Trade Summit

While previous trade summits had a strong focus on Brexit, this summit included more discussion around the fundamentals of exporting including intellectual property, customs compliance and competency, and how positive marketing and trade show presence overseas can create opportunities for UK businesses.

Watch the presentation by Brook Horowitz from IBLF Global to get a sense of the challenges exporters face when selling into high-growth markets.

Getting on with the job of trade: the Coventry Trade Summit

While many of the year’s trade summits voice concern about the severity of Brexit's potential impact on the UK's position international trade, the summit in Coventry is perhaps the most positive in outlook, memorable for a can-do approach to overcoming the challenges ahead.

Watch this presentation by Mike Button from Coventry Chemicals to hear the experiences of an on-the-ground exporter getting to grips with the impact of Brexit.


Call for businesses to use their apprenticeship levy in 2018

Working in conjunction with employers and Universities, the Institute has access to qualifications that are available now and funded through the apprenticeship levy, these apply for professional and degree qualifications, including Bachelors and Masters Degrees.

New Doing Business Guides

We also released several new Doing Business Guides in 2017:








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