By Marcus Leach

Yell and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) have announced an exciting partnership to provide vital support and guidance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to expand internationally.

The aim of the partnership — called ‘Open to Export’ — is to provide a dedicated platform that enables UK-based companies to collaborate and share intelligence about export market opportunities, means of entry and participation.

Speaking at the UKTI event “SMEs Exporting and Growth” in central London on Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his excitement for the initiative.

“UKTI is working with Yell to develop an online service called Open to Export which will provide SMEs with access to more information, advice and support from intermediary organisations like many of you here today (Thursday).”

Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, also welcomed the partnership.

“Local businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and their success is key to getting the UK economy moving. By helping SMEs grow exports, we will see a significant boost to UK economic growth," he said.

“This innovative partnership between Yell and UKTI — Open to Export — will provide an invaluable online marketplace where SMEs will be able to overcome the complexities of trading overseas through relevant advice and support.”

The initial pilot will be built on Yell’s local eMarketplace platform to act as a hub where content and services are shared and SMEs can transact with service providers who are specialists in supporting exports.

“This partnership is an important element of Yell’s strategy to become a leader in the emerging eMarketplace connecting SMEs and consumers locally. The ‘Open to Export’ platform is a model which Yell Group can extend across its geographies to help governments drive export growth for SMEs," Mike Pocock, Chief Executive Officer of Yell Group, said.

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