Small and medium-sized businesses in the West Midlands are being invited to explore the possibilities of international trade with trips to eastern Europe and Australia.
UK Trade and Investment - the Government organisation responsible for promoting UK companies overseas - are calling on SMEs to join it on trade missions to Romania and Bulgaria or Australia and New Zealand in September.
Due to join the EU in January 2007, Romania is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. British exports increased by 19.4 per cent last year to over £626 million.
The trip, organised in conjunction with the International Trade Team at Business Link West Mercia, is planned for September 25 to 30.
Small and medium-sized firms from all sectors are eligible to join, provided that the visit is part of an agreed export strategy, they have not previously exported to these countries and they do not have a distributor or agent in the markets.
The UK's Ambassador to Romania, Quinton Quayle - who is originally from West Bromwich - said: "More British firms are rightly taking a closer look at the Romanian market in the run-up to EU accession.
"Although Bulgaria is a smaller market, it offers good opportunities to British companies in a wide variety of sectors."
From September 9 to 22, UK Trade and Investment and regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, have arranged a trade mission down under.
The trip has been timed to coincide with Fine Food Australia - the country's largest international event that showcases the latest innovations in food, drink and related equipment; and Hotel Australia - the motel, hotel and restaurant equipment exhibition. Both events are being held at the Sydney Convention Centre on 12-15 September.
Sue Barnes, International cluster co-ordinator at UK Trade and Investment's West Midlands regional team, is leading the trade mission.
She said: "While the two exhibitions will be of particular interest to food and drink companies, any West Midlands exporter of products or services in any sector is welcome to join us.
"Australia is a very important market for British exporters - the third largest in the Asia-Pacific region.
"New Zealand also buys a very wide range of British goods and services and the UK is its fourth largest partner in two-way trade."
For further information about the Romania visit contact Paul Thompson at Business Link West Mercia on 08456411510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details about the Australia mission, please contact Sue Barnes at UK Trade and Investment's West Midlands regional team on 0121 380 3664.
The deadline for both applications is July 15.