A key portal to world trade

Businesses often complain that exporting their goods and services is too difficult or demanding, too risky or expensive. So they avoid it and miss out on valuable opportunities the domestic market just doesn’t offer. The truth is that trading overseas is none of these things. But it is the way of the future and to re-balance the UK economy.

And there’s plenty of help available to firms considering selling abroad. Since knowledge is crucial to participating in the global economy, Chamber International has gathered together all the information existing and would-be exporting firms need in its rejuvenated website.

It has been greatly expanded to include all the latest industry news and comment as well as our full suite of services along with a new series of comprehensive country profiles on key emerging markets and other features such as links to its extensive international networks.

There was an immediate upsurge in the numbers hitting the site following its launch and a 43 per cent increase in traffic last year. More than two-thirds had never visited before. Businesses say they regard it as a vital tool in keeping abreast of what’s always a fast-moving environment.

This year businesses and organisations involved in international trade are expected to view web pages more than 100,000 times – a sizeable increase on last year as that was over 2011.

“We’ve created a valuable portal to help firms do business overseas and invite businesses of all shapes and sizes to become part of our network,” says Tim Bailey, international trade director of Chamber International. “We’ve got visitors from 144 countries and Google has translated our website into 33 languages.

“Seventy per cent of the traffic driven to our site is new and although we’re Yorkshire-based it’s truly national with ever growing visitor numbers from around the UK.”

Chamber International has a long history of innovating for the digital age, having helped pioneer the successful internet-based e-Cert documentation scheme a decade ago.

It has also been busy harnessing the huge power of social media as a business tool. The number of people following the organisation on Twitter has risen twenty-fold in the last year alone. Its account is followed by top people at more than 40 other Chambers as well as 15 branches of UK Trade & Investment, numerous organisations and embassies around the world.

Its ideas are re-tweeted daily by other Chambers, partners, exporters and freight forwarders. And its regular online e-bulletin service which brings businesses up to date with all the latest news and events is a success story in itself. It has seen a four-fold increase in the number of subscribers in the last 12 months. And the list is still growing.