Twenty-five West Midlands companies in the rail sector have boosted business after taking part in a trade event at the National Exhibition Centre.
The companies were among 68 UK businesses taking part in Rail Opportunities 2008, which attracted buyers from France, Bulgaria, India, Turkey, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Organised by UK Trade & Investment, the Rail Opportunities event was designed to give West Midlands firms face-to-face meetings with major international players they would not otherwise be able to meet.
Sellers were each given 15 minutes to pitch their products and services to the buyers in a series of more than 600 meetings throughout the day.
The companies were also able to meet international trade advisers from UK Trade & Investment for advice and guidance on all aspects of exporting.
UK Trade & Investment commercial officers at British Embassies in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Turkey, also attended the event to give detailed
advice on their overseas market.
DePe Gear from Stoke-on-Trent, which manufactures precision gears, was among the firms to benefit, securing appointments with eight overseas buyers.
Managing director Andrew Jubb said: "We make gears from 150mm to 1.5m in diameter but we aren't doing any exporting for the rail industry at present.
"This seemed a great opportunity to meet buyers under one roof and I think the concept works well. I can recommend it as a great way of getting new contacts without wasting valuable time."
"We've invested heavily in the latest technology, including CNC Gear Grinding, and are able to increase our capacity so it's the ideal time to be looking at new markets," he added.
Sue Barnes, from UK Trade & Investment's West Midlands team based in Birmingham, is the co-ordinator of the rail business cluster.
She said: "The day was a great success and offered companies a unique opportunity to develop their business overseas.
"The feedback from both suppliers and buyers has been really positive, and many of the
participants particularly appreciated the in-depth advice from the commercial officers."
"We are confident that this will result in real business for many of the companies, and raise the profile of all the firms that took part," she added.