By Daniel Hunter

Following on from its £4 billion International SME fund, HSBC has announced further support to businesses across Wales with the launch of Global Connections, a global initiative focused on highlighting the importance of international business in today’s global economy.

Across the UK, the top 10 International and Innovative businesses could be awarded a share of £60 million worth of funding (up to £6 million lending each) linked to a financial reward of up to £120,000 for the 10 finalists and £240,000 for final winner. The finalists will also be invited to take part in International Exchanges for networking and business development.

“Through our many meetings with business leaders across the region, we know that Wales is home to many entrepreneurial, forward thinking companies," Gary Burton, HSBC’s Regional Commercial Director for the South West and Wales, commented.

"And, in a tightening domestic economy, international trade offers a great opportunity for many businesses seeking growth.

“Our Global Connections initiative seeks to help UK businesses compete at the forefront of international trade. Not only can we help through providing funding but also through introducing them to other entrepreneurial businesses both in the UK and around the world.

"Once you bring businesses together, you can tangibly see partnerships forming as they share challenges, insights, and find synergies to help each other grow. It is a privilege to facilitate these connections and to help UK businesses achieve success on a global scale. Trading across borders is not only critical for the future success of businesses in Wales but is also critical to the UK economy.”

HSBC has previously taken businesses from across the UK to ‘Thought Exchange’ trips in some of the world’s most dynamic areas of economic growth — Hong Kong, Brazil, New York, United Arab Emirates and Paris - allowing them to meet other businesses and investigate international trade opportunities. This year’s competition will be linked into a global initiative allowing even more businesses to connect but the competition element will be unique for UK businesses.

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