By Daniel Hunter

One of London’s leading export experts has praised the achievements of local firms, with more companies from the capital winning the prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade than any other region.

More than two thirds of these 22 London winners benefitted from expert advice along the way from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)

Parveen Thornhill, Regional Director for UKTI London, the government agency which helps the capital’s businesses to succeed overseas, said: “Once again London firms are excelling when it comes to selling goods and services overseas as business accolades don’t get any bigger than this.

“We are delighted to have played a role, with 16 of the twenty-two winners having had support from our International Trade Team. To win an award is no mean feat as these firms must prove they have achieved long term, substantial growth in overseas earnings.

“However, it does show that businesses can grow through exporting despite the tough economic times. So we need more companies selling overseas or look to expand to a range of high growth markets. Afterall, the majority of these Queen’s Award winners have had great success in these types of markets, from Brazil to Thailand.

“So our latest drive is to get companies along to our Export Week — High Growth, a series of events which will run across the capital from 13 to 17 May. The week is designed to help firms stay competitive and improve profits through exporting.

“The events will focus on making the most of high growth opportunities, given the global economic centre of gravity has shifted in the last decade. So it’s not only the likes of Brazil, Russia, India and China, but also rapidly expanding markets such as Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, and Qatar to consider.

“There’s still a few places left for these events, so it’s not too late to sign up and help to maximise these big opportunities for high growth markets”

One of the main Export Week events is a Masterclass in winning overseas tenders on Tuesday 14 May in central London. The event will focus on how to win key large scale infrastructure projects, particularly in markets such as Brazil, Russia and Qatar which are gearing up for high-profile sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. Therefore British expertise, particularly on the back of the London Olympic Games, is in real demand.

Industry experts will lead this event from 9am-3.30pm, including lunch, with speakers from Systech International, Mott Macdonald Ltd, Field Fisher Waterhouse and Barclays, as well finance and trade specialists from UKTI.

Parveen continued: “This time next year, let’s hope there are even more local firms in the running for an International Trade Queen’s Award!”

One of the 16 Queen’s Awards winning companies to benefit from UKTI help and support is Testplant, a company of nearly 50 employees, and recognised for its international sales of eggPlant, a robotic software testing tool.

With the help of UKTI London and the specialist UKTI defence and security expertise, its overseas sales more than doubled over the last three years and it now exports to over thirty international markets and some of the world’s leading companies including Boeing in the States and BMW in Germany.

Chief Executive Officer George Mackintosh said: “We were always determined to sell internationally. UKTI accelerated this opportunity and widened the scope to tap into international markets which we would otherwise not have reached."

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