A conference to help small and medium-sized businesses seek out new export markets is being staged in Birmingham next month.
The Institute of Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) have teamed up with UK Trade and Industry to put on the half-day conference at Brindleyplace on October 13.
John Phillips, regional director of the IoD, said: “British businesses must export to survive – yet latest figures show a slow-down in foreign trade.
“From the Prime Minister down, small and medium-sized companies are being urged to expand their horizons and conquer new markets.
“Now a special export conference is being staged in Birmingham to help SMEs in the West Midlands seize the opportunity.”
The Exporting For Growth conference will offer smaller companies thinking of looking for new markets in the global economy the practical advice and expertise they need to help them on their way.
Delegates will receive one-to-one advice from UK Trade and Investment experts on specific export markets.
They will also hear from a top-level panel of speakers who will offer expert analysis of the key emerging export markets of India, China and the Middle East.
Speakers include Miles Templeman, the director general of the IoD. He is a marketing specialist who has worked on major consumer brands such as Daz, Ribena, Lucozade and Levi jeans.
A former managing director of Threshers and Whitbread, Mr Templeman was responsible for the growth of brands such as Boddingtons and Stella Artois.
Clive Parritt, deputy president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, will unveil the results of an annual global survey of SMEs looking at the impact of regulation and tax rules in different countries.
And industrialist Rob Hill will look at the highs and lows experienced by his own small Black Country business Metallisation, which relies heavily on foreign markets for most of its work.
Mr Phillips said: “At a time when the region is losing jobs and manufacturing capacity to the Far East and other cheap-labour markets, the importance of working locally and thinking globally has never been greater.
“This event is aimed at marketing and finance directors, chief executives, managing directors of SMEs and their advisers.
“It will be particularly useful to small and medium-sized businesses, who are thinking about exporting for the first time.”
The cost for the event, at 11 Brindleyplace, including lunch, is £45 + VAT (£52.88) for ICAEW and IoD members and £60 + VAT (£70.50) for non-members.