By Daniel Hunter

Companies which have never sold their goods and services beyond the UK are being urged to get on board with two new UKTI initiatives: £99 introductory visits to Europe and free local workshops designed to get them ready to export.

"I know from my own business experience that those first stages of exporting can seem a step into the unknown," Peter Hogarth, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Regional Director said.

"Questions about resources, both cost and time, language and different cultures and business practices can make overseas trade a daunting prospect.

“But our new ‘Export Insight’ visits to many European destinations are designed to help address these questions by introducing novice and non-exporters to the principles of international trade.

"These visits are great value: for less than a hundred pounds we will introduce you to a new market. We will pay for group flights, accommodation, group transport and activities once out there. There are 12 markets visits from now until the end of March: a perfect chance to experience different overseas markets, including countries such as Turkey, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark.

"I've always said if you can sell in the UK you can sell anywhere. Companies that export grow faster and survive longer than those that don’t. And we've known for a long time that, given the current economic situation, the only way to grow the UK economy is to export.

"The good news is that the British brand is in demand all around the world, particularly on the back of the London Games. And, despite worries around the Eurozone, Europe remains a hugely important market to business of all sizes, particularly companies at the start of their international business development."

UKTI are also encouraging local companies to attend one of four free half day events, which will discuss the benefits and issues around exporting, look at market research options and highlight the help and advice available.

To sign up to these ‘Export Taster’ events go to http://emb.sym-online.com/whyexport/. They are being held at: The Belfry Hotel, Nottingham ( 31 October), The Double Tree by Hilton in Lincoln ( 22 November) Mickleover Court, Derby ( 12 December) and The Hilton in Leicester ( 29 January). Lunch will be provided.

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