By Daniel Hunter

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is supporting a new approach to spread Britain’s business message around the world. The initiative, which is being run by the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race group, will see a Great Britain team and branded yacht take to the seas, in partnership with the government’s GREAT campaign.

This will help to promote British brands and export opportunities around the globe during the team’s 11 month record-breaking 40,000 mile race, which visits major markets on six continents following its departure from London on 1st September 2013.

“This is an innovative way of raising the profile of British business overseas and highlights the global trade opportunities available to UK companies. More businesses are starting to be proactive at finding new markets for their goods and services," John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said.

"But we cannot afford to be complacent, and need to encourage even more firms to take the plunge on international trade and for those who export already, to extend their reach even further. This is a great way of showcasing exactly what Great Britain has to offer, and spreading the word around the globe that Britain is well and truly open for Business.”

The Clipper Race is operated by UK based Clipper Ventures, which was established in 1995 by yachting legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-9. The iconic race, which trains amateurs to take on some of the world’s toughest oceans, has developed a reputation for building international trade links between yacht sponsors, hosting destinations and business partners.

“We have a proud history as a maritime trading nation and we have built a powerful and proven formula for facilitating trade between our partners in the key business hubs around the world which the Clipper Race visits," Sir Robin said.

"The inclusion of a GREAT Britain team supported by UK business in partnership with the Government enables us to capitalise on these opportunities even further.”

Last year, the race helped to promote Great Britain at international ports of call and through a cumulative global media audience in excess of two billion people. UK businesses have established new markets through participation in Clipper Race events, such as through high level networking and activation opportunities across the world — including trade deals within Asia, South America, South Africa, Australia and North America.

This year a Great Britain yacht will provide a platform for British brands to participate in the 11-month race programme that will visit Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Cape Town in South Africa, Sydney in Australia, Singapore, Qingdao in China, San Francisco and New York in the US and The Netherlands. It will be one of twelve new identical British designed yachts which will depart from London in front of Tower Bridge at the beginning of September and return there in July 2014.

A year ago, just a few days before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, thousands of people turned out to welcome home the eighth edition of the Clipper Race. The Prime Minister’s office which coordinates the GREAT Britain campaign was represented by the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

"Britain's status as a great trading nation was founded on our nautical prowess and sense of adventure. The Clipper Race is a powerful partner in the GREAT Britain campaign, which promotes the best of British ingenuity, internationalism and competitiveness around the world," the Minister said.

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