Businesses from across Wales met ambassadors from around the world on Monday 5 March in a bid to boost trade.
Overall exports rose to £617billion in the last year, while 3,000 Welsh businesses saw their goods exports rise 19 per cent to £16.4bn in the year to 2017.
At an event celebrating Wales Week, companies Snowdownia Cheese, Cloth Cat Animation and RMJ Studio discussed access to growing markets with industry bodies and representatives from UK embassies at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Officials from the government’s flagship GREAT campaign were on hand to explain the support available for businesses to increase exports and investment through international trade advisers and live opportunities on great.gov.uk.
Demand for goods from non-EU markets increased last year, with exports to the UAE increasing by 42%, Turkey (29%) and Canada (25%) in the year to 2017 Q3, compared to 8% for Germany, its largest EU export market for goods. 65% of Welsh services exports (excluding the travel, transport and banking sector) go to non-EU markets.
Minister for Investment, Graham Stuart said:
“I want every Welsh business to make the most of the international demand for their quality goods and services. At our trade reception, we’ll explain how our network of international trade advisers and opportunities on great.gov.uk can help them expand into growing markets around the world.
“The UK is a great trading nation, and as an international economic department we’re dedicated to supporting businesses in Wales build their brand abroad to increase UK exports and encourage inward investment.”
Welsh secretary Alun Cairns said:
“I firmly believe that the key to Wales’ long-term prosperity will be to take advantage of the opportunities presented by a growing global market.
“Wales is home to fantastic companies, worldwide exporters, high performing technology industries and outstanding academic institutes.
“As we forge new trade deals with old friends and new allies around the world – I want that to mean more jobs in Wales, more exports of Welsh products and increased growth for the Welsh economy.”
Minister for Europe and the Americas, Alan Duncan said:
“The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is delighted to be hosting this celebration of Welsh trade, helping to forge future relationships between businesses in Wales and international partners around the world.
“This event helps support vital work across the global network, led our dedicated One HMG teams, who working closely with Welsh and other Devolved interests, are supporting jobs and growth for the whole of the United Kingdom.”
Wales Week in London is an annual series of activities and events that celebrate and promote Welsh business and culture.
Co-founder of Wales Week in London, Dan Langford said:
“Support from DIT and across Government departments has been tremendous from the outset. We can’t thank the Government enough for their backing and for helping to make Wales Week in London such a success.
The Wales Week reception organised by DIT is typical of the overwhelming enthusiasm of Government to support Welsh businesses in their exporting ambitions, and we are looking forward to any new opportunities it may bring with it.”
Wales also continues to benefit as a growing hub for global investment – with more than 11,000 jobs created or safeguarded as a result of Foreign Direct Investment into Wales.