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PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

MEET THE BLACK COUNTRY CHAMBER INTERNATIONAL TRADE TEAM

Prosper meets the team helping Black Country businesses trade around the world and the international trade advisors responsible for helping companies attract millions of pounds of business.   

 

It was March 16th when the Black Country DIT team were last in the office together.

The office, that was once the hub of activity has now become working, like thousands of others across the country, in an office on the dining room table, the spare bedroom, or if you are lucky, the home office. 

Finding that as one market seemed to be recovering, another was moving further into lockdown, and armed with this important information, the team have determined how best to advise the companies they work with on the steps ahead.

Many companies have had their plans to exhibit or visit international exhibitions cancelled, so raising the profile of a company overseas is key to selling internationally.

 

Initialising virtual meetings, meet the buyer exhibitions and international trade missions with colleagues and potential clients the other side of the world, is part of everyday life now. 

The team have also been providing a complete digital advisory service to companies, where an assessment of their current website, search optimisation and content is carried out with recommendations for improvements offered, a service which is helping companies attract business to their products when face to face meetings are just not possible.

Meanwhile, the Department of International Trade has been providing a multitude of free online training courses and webinars specific to growing a business internationally.

There are many other ways that the team based in the Black Country have been, and are continuing to support, local companies – whilst every company has its different needs.

As the world emerges out of lockdown, survival for businesses across the globe is paramount, working with expert international trade advisors may just open up that whole new world.

 

Meet the Black Country International Trade Team 

Marion Doherty 

Marion has been in her business support role, advising on all aspects of trading internationally for 10 years.

 

She has worked with many companies of different size, sectors and export experience during this time and tailors her extensive knowledge of Department for International Trade (DIT) services and experience to support each individual company.

 

Prior to DIT her experience was in client-facing sales, marketing and business development roles. 

Marion’s experience of living and working in a number of European countries has enhanced her ability to instil confidence and bring companies forward to win business in markets. 

As the Infrastructure sector lead in the West Midlands she has identified opportunities and led missions to many countries to facilitate engagement in the market. 

Heather Crocker 

Heather has been supporting Black Country businesses to trade internationally for over 6 years.

 

She uses her experience and knowledge of working with a range of sectors including manufacturing, food and drink, transport, engineering, marine and agriculture to assist businesses both large and small to develop the best approach to export for their organisation.

 

Through advice and mentoring she helps them prepare, identify and connect with market opportunities overseas.

Prior to joining the Department for International Trade, she has worked in a number of roles in agrifood and food manufacturing; the transport industry providing information and support for businesses across all modes of transport, and a Government organisation promoting business interests to policymakers. She is passionate about supporting businesses to expand and grow. 

Heather provides the regional lead on Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Engineering Supply Chain, Marine and Space sectors. 

Jayne Shields

Jayne has been supporting Black Country businesses of all sizes and business sectors to grow and develop for the last 5 years. 

 

Before becoming a business advisor she was a marketing professional for 20 years, working in both large Fortune 500 multi-nationals and SMEs, responsible for strategic marketing, marketing communications, category management, resource management and planning; and working with international teams in Europe, Middle East and the USA.

 

Her industry experience covers manufacturing, materials handling, security and safety, construction products and DIY brands.

She is able to use her knowledge and experience to guide companies in the development of export plans, enabling them to take a focused and structured approach to entering new markets and growing their business overseas; helping them to connect with opportunities internationally and to overcome any obstacles and barriers they may face.

Gerald La Touche  

Gerald joined the British Civil Service in 1998 at the then Department for Trade and Industry, DTI in London. He holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations - International Political Economy, from the University of Birmingham and is the Energy - Oil & Gas sector lead for the Midlands.

Having lived, worked and studied in the Americas, Gerald has extensive knowledge and insights in Latin America and the Caribbean markets, particularly the CARICOM Single Market (CSME) area, comprising the old British West Indies Federation countries plus a few other associated member states.

 

He also has expertise in international political economy, market access, market risk analysis - including SWOT and PESTLE analyses, and options for export finance.

Black Country DIT Export Wins so far this year…

Month

March

April

May

June

Total:

No. of Wins

6

3

4

6

17

Value of Wins

£1.0m

£2.5m

£0.6m

£8.9m

£12m

No. of Businesses Engaged With

105

91

104

115

240 Unique Companies

No. of Business Interactions

176

206

209

240

831

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