Saudi Arabia and India in Focus

13 September 2014

Saudi Arabia and India in focus as Chamber International launches Yorkshire’s first OBNi events

TWO special export events under the Government’s Overseas Business Network initiative (OBNi) are being held by Chamber International in Leeds this autumn.

The events are the first in Yorkshire since prime minister, David Cameron, launched the initiative in autumn 2013 with an £8m investment and the aim of doubling the UK’s annual exports to £1tr by 2020 and increasing the number of UK exporters by 100,000.

Help with exporting to Saudi Arabia and India will be the themes of the half-day events at international commercial law firms, Addleshaw Goddard on November 4 and Irwin Mitchell on December 4.

Both events are expected to attract up to 150 exporting businesses and provide valuable information from high-profile export support organisations and case study presentations by businesses which are successfully exporting to both countries and which will be available for one-to-one meetings during each event.

The Saudi Arabia event at Addleshaw Goddard, Sovereign Street, on November 4 will include a Saudi-British Joint Business Council presentation with tips on how best to access business in Saudi Arabia.

The economy in Saudi Arabia, where 50 per cent of the population is under 25, is forecast to expand at a three per cent annually for the next few years. The government has allocated 46 per cent of its total spending this year to education and training, health and social development and infrastructure.

The event will also feature talks by Yorkshire businesses, including minimum invasive surgery equipment designer and manufacturer, Surgical Innovations, Leeds and London-based global testing organisation Intertek which helps exporters with product conformity through its bases in 1,000 locations in 100 countries.

The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) will co-host the India event with speakers who will share their expertise and offer first-hand advice on key topics from choosing an Indian business partner, protecting IP, trade finance, staff recruitment and adapting products for an Indian market.  

India’s economy is growing at an annual rate of about six per cent with several Indian states expanding at staggering rates of more than 10 per cent.

This rate of growth means that the potential rewards of exploring the Indian market are significant, and UKIBC says that there are compelling reasons why India should figure prominently in every business’ strategy. However, there are nuances that companies looking at India need to be aware of. The Indian market requires thorough preparation and a long-term view. 

Among speakers will be UKIBC director, Steve Toogood, and is based in Manchester.  A former businessman, he has spent more than 20 years in the private sector working for the Olympus Corporation. He was also Vice President for Olympus Surgical Industrial America Inc. based in New York and director of Olympus's Industrial Business including responsibilities for R&D and international sales and marketing with agents and distributors in India and throughout Asia. 

Chamber International account manager, Joe Baker, says: “These events will be hugely valuable to businesses wanting to penetrate these complex but highly-rewarding markets. Accessing them is important for the UK economy as much of Europe is failing to sustain meaningful growth after the global recession.”

Experienced exporters from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s We are International campaign will attend both events to offer help and advice to businesses interested in diversifying into exporting.

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