By Claire West

Exporters in the South East have a rare opportunity for face-to-face meetings with marine sector experts from key markets around the world.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) South East is assembling a team of UKTI overseas-based marine industry specialists at the London International Boat Show in January 2011, to demonstrate the range of export opportunities for UK companies and provide practical advice and assistance.

For marine industry firms looking to grow their sales of goods or services overseas, this provides a unique chance, in one place, to tap into the marine market expertise of Commercial Officers based in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, Taiwan and Turkey.

UKTI is offering companies free, pre-bookable, 40-minute one-to-one meetings with Commercial Officers at the ExCel Centre on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 January 2011.

Working from British diplomatic posts, these experts are an intrinsic part of UKTI’s overseas network. They can not only draw on their knowledge and experience of local markets to provide bespoke advice for marine firms, but have intelligence on up-to-date business opportunities.

According to research sponsored by SEEDA (South East England Development Agency), the marine sector employs 145,000 people in the South East and contributes £14 billion to the region's economy - £3.1bn of which is generated by the marine leisure market.

Christopher Uniacke, International Trade Adviser — Marine, for UKTI South East, said: "The London International Boat Show provides an ideal meeting place for companies interested in exploring their export prospects in a range of global markets with our Commercial Officers. For any marine sector company interested in growing their export business, this is an opportunity not to be missed."

Companies can book their free appointments by phoning UKTI on 01489 661405, or by e-mailing kandy.jones@uktisoutheast.com