Trade mission brings together US and Leeds business leaders

Trade mission brings together US and Leeds business leaders

The first US trade mission to the UK following June’s Brexit decision has seen business leaders visit Leeds to meet with their Yorkshire counterparts.

The delegation from Providence, Rhode Island, was welcomed by business and civic leaders at a summit lunch hosted by audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.

The trade visit focused on initiating links between the New England state of Rhode Island and Leeds, as both regions have a rich industrial heritage.  A delegation of 15 visited London this week, and was invited to Leeds to explore cultivating business tourism and education links between the two regions, as well as having trade meetings with potential customers and suppliers.

Kevin O’Connor, RSM’s regional managing partner for Yorkshire and the North East, said: "The US market presents a wealth of reciprocal trading and investment opportunities for Yorkshire firms. Bringing together businesses, civic leaders and leading educators from the two regions to discuss what they can do to help each other is the first step in what we hope will be a mutually beneficial relationship.

"As a global network, we draw on local knowledge and expertise to help support our clients to successfully expand the reach of their business in the UK and internationally. The visit was not only a great opportunity to forge stronger links with the US and the Leeds City Region, but we showcased what Yorkshire has to offer."

Rhode Island’s State’s Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, who attended yesterday’s trade mission, said: "Rhode Island and Yorkshire are both regions that were built on the back of the industrial revolution and are in the midst of reinventing themselves for the twenty-first century.

"Our visit to Leeds is an important step toward cementing ties that will help companies in Rhode Island and Yorkshire find mutual success in the sectors and industries defining the future of the global economy. We're thankful to everyone who has made this opportunity possible and we look forward to a future of economic progress in both of our communities."

The US delegation, which included experts in retail logistics, manufacturers, leading university Bryant, and representatives of the State’s trade teams, also underwent a series of meetings with local firms and trade advisers from DIT (formerly UKTI).

The trade visit, which was supported by Santander and UKTI as well as hosts RSM, was initiated by transatlantic marketing firm Great British Marketing, with the aim of fostering long term business links between the cities, advisers and exporters on both sides of the Atlantic.