Open to Export launches International Business Awards Competition

1 June 2018


The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) is delighted to launch ‘The Open to Export” International Business Awards’. Companies from anywhere in the world are invited to enter their completed ‘Export Action Plans’, using Open to Export’s (OTE) online planning tool, before 10 August 2018 for the chance to win US$5000 and a range of other exciting prices, allowing them to kick-start their export action plan and turn them into reality!

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) are supporting the competition as part of the ‘WTO-ICC Small Business Champions’ initiative.

Pitch your Export Plan & Showcase your business on the grandest stage of them all: The WTO Public Forum 2018

10 finalists will be invited to pitch their submitted plans to a panel of judges during the WTO Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The lucky candidates will also be invited to showcase their products at an OTE exhibition stand throughout the Public Forum.

“A chance for you to shine”

Upon the announcement that the WTO and ICC had selected the proposal to run the awards, Director General of the IOE&IT Lesley Batchelor said:

“We are delighted and honoured that our proposal to the ICC-WTO Small Business Champions Initiative has been accepted. The competition will be an incredible event, showcasing the fantastic variety of SMEs across all sectors and in all parts of the world grappling with the challenges and opportunities of exporting”.

Arne Mielken, Young President of IOE&IT added:

“The project will also open up the wealth of trade information and advice on the Open to Export site to a wider audience, showing that Britain is keen to do business with the world and support global trade, especially as we leave the European Union.”

Step-by-step guidance for SMEs looking to export for the first time

So, do you have a brilliant export idea and wonder how to get started successfully? Don’t delay, start your plan today!

No matter where you are around the globe, thanks to the IOE&IT, the WTO and the ICC, you can now use the “Open for Export” online Export Action Plan’ tool, taking you on your journey to export success.

The tool will allow you to take ownership of your export strategies in a systematic way, encouraging you to take decisions along each step of their international trade journey – from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers.

The international ‘Export Action Plan Competition’ rewards the best export plans with prizes and further support for the businesses to take their next steps in international trade – endorsed by the WTO and the ICC! If this is not a confidence boost in your capabilities, what is?

OTE has created a new portal for companies interested in entering the competition, with supporting resources and more information about the WTO-ICC Small Business Champions initiative, including FAQ where you can find further information and details, and useful resources to help you with your export plans.

In addition, OTE will also be running a webinar in June giving advice to companies looking to enter.

Supporting social media message

Here’s a great opportunity for #SMEs worldwide - enter the @opentoexport #InternationalBusinessAwards for the chance to win $5000 for your #export plans & for the chance to showcase your business at the #WTOPublicForum in Geneva: @ioexport @wto @iccwbo

The Institute of Export & International Trade

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) has for over 80 years been the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade in the UK. Through qualifications and training the IOE&IT has driven the export skills agenda in the UK and is the country’s leading authority for best practice and competence in trade.

The IOE&IT is increasing its engagement with trade organisations around the world as the UK leaves the EU and hosted a landmark session on the importance of learning the skills of trade at the WTO Public Forum in September 2017.

The IOE&IT works closely with the ICC in driving the international agenda in UK business along with leading industry trade associations and partners. It also benefits greatly from the wisdom of its President, Lord Green of Hustpierpoint (former Minister for UK Trade & Investment and former Chairman of HSBC Holdings plc), and Young President, Arne Mielken, who has had close ties with WTO for well over a decade.

Open to Export

Open to Export (OTE) is the IOE&IT’s digital solution to boosting the UK’s SME exports. It helps new and inexperienced businesses prepare to sell overseas by giving them vital access to online information, support and advice – at no cost whatsoever. This includes introductory guides to all the key steps of export, market guides and a comprehensive webinar programme.

WTO-ICC Small Business Champions Initiative

The ‘ICC-WTO Small Business Champions’ initiative has been launched by the WTO and the ICC to facilitate participation by smaller companies in international trade.

It provides a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to do business across borders.

WTO Public Forum

The Public Forum, taking place on 2-4 October 2018, is the WTO’s largest annual outreach event, providing a platform for participants to discuss the latest developments in world trade and to propose ways of enhancing the multilateral trading system. The event regularly attracts over 1,500 representatives from civil society, academia, business, the media, governments, parliamentarians and inter-governmental organizations.


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