Featuring at last month’s International Trade Awards – part of the inaugural Import Export Show – were Gateley Global, who took home the Investment in Trade Award. Described by judges as “exceptional”, the firm’s entry was supported by tangible evidence of their work boosting foreign direct investment and growth.
We spoke to CEO Richard Cuda and COO Rebecca Bekkenutte about the win and the work that helped them achieve it.
IOE&IT: How does it feel to have won an award?
RB: It feels fantastic – it's obviously great news to be recognised not only for the work that we do, but our very dedicated team who are absolutely experienced and passionate about economic development and international trade and investment. It's a testament to their hard work.
IOE&IT: Did you do you expect to win?
RB: You always hope for the best but prepare for the fact that maybe it won't be the best!
IOE&IT: You had your Oscar face ready?
RB: Well, I'm not brilliant at poker, but I did come in like “neutral, neutral”. But I’m absolutely pleased.
IOE&IT: And what advice would you give to people entering the awards next year? What do you think it was that tipped the judges in your direction?
RB: I think it's about what we do and how we do it. We get involved – we're an international trade and investment consultancy, so we've worked with multinational businesses, scaled SMEs but also [worked with] public sector organisations. We've seen the impact of trade and investment from both a public sector delivery point of view, but also [from the point of view of] challenges that companies face.
When we work with these companies on what they’re doing and their aspirations, we can put together a bespoke package tailored specifically for them. They're our client, we want them to succeed, to grow and to benefit the economy.
The award is not just taking a step back about yourself as an organisation, but also looking at the impact and the overall good that you're able to achieve by helping businesses into new markets. It’s day-to-day stuff for us, but for a company looking to export or invest in a new market for the first time it's daunting. I guess we kind of de-risk that for them.
IOE&IT: Are there particular challenges or exciting opportunities that you're looking forward to in 2024?
RC: Yeah, there definitely are. When it comes to trade and investment, and kind of demystifying it for businesses, there's always a role to play. We're working on a number of exciting initiatives where we're trying to make it easier for economic development organisations, such as the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), to provide services in a much more accessible way to businesses.
What we're also looking to do with IOE&IT is develop a series of training [courses] to actually help educate and prepare the next group of trade and investment professionals to deal with and support businesses in the new investment environment.
How Gateley Global reacted on social media
Bekkenutte posted on LinkedIn after the event to say she was “thrilled” that Gateley Global were finalists for the award, let alone winners:
“So glad to lead such an inspiring team who are dedicated to delivering excellence in all they do and who are committed to furthering global growth and trade.”