The Midlands World Trade Forum has appointed Stourbridge manufacturer Paul McCairn to its board.

As managing director of bearing housing maker Bri- Mac Engineering, Mr McCairn has seen for himself the benefits of exporting over the past few years and is now keen to help others find new markets overseas.

The MWTF, the region's largest international trade support group, has close to 500 members across the region, who together have an export turnover of almost £1 billion.

BriMac, which employs seven people at its base in Lye, has boosted its turnover from £500,000 to £750,000 after joining the MWTF and entering the export market.

Overseas orders have included supplying its housing for a cement works in Iran and a pulverising plant in Germany.

Mr McCairn, who is managing director of Bri-Mac, said: "The MWTF is an excellent platform.

"I joined two years ago as a novice exporter and found all the help and support incredibly useful. The company has gone from no overseas sales at all to exports now accounting for 25 per cent of our business."

Bri-Mac was formed in 1984 by Mr McCairn and his father Brian and specialises in making bearing housings for a variety of machines and industries.

With the UK manufacturing sector declining, the company realised it had to look abroad to survive. After joining the MWTF, Paul received advice on how to market his products around the world and is now beginning to reap the benefits.

"I find it incredible that someone sitting in a skyscraper in Malaysia can type bearing housing into an inter-net search engine and they find our workshop in the Black Country.

"We now receive enquiries from the Far East and I've travelled over there to meet our customers and they in turn have introduced me to their contacts.

"What we make is still niche so the growing industrial nations like China are keen to get their hands on a quality British product."

He added: "I'm really looking forward to helping companies that are in the same position as we were."