Wales-USA trade mission kicks off

Wales-USA trade mission kicks off

The three-day trade mission to New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, led by Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, is now underway.

The trade and investment visit to the United States aims to attract interest from American businesses to invest in Wales and build on a trading relationship already worth more than £3.9 billion.

Mr Cairns will meet with companies operating in sectors from cybersecurity to pharmaceuticals.

He will be joined by two Board of Trade advisers: former chairman of Cardiff Airport and Welsh Development Agency, Lord Rowe-Beddoe and chief of staff for Manchester Airport Group Collette Roche.

Secretary of State Alun Cairns, said: “Wales and the United States are close trading partners – and I want to ensure that we continue to build on this important relationship by creating more investment and exporting opportunities for companies from both countries.

“US firms invest more than £30 billion in the UK and our commercial relationship is stronger than ever.

“We want to see that partnership continue to grow and flourish, making Wales the place of choice for investors.”

In the year 2016-17, the Department for International Trade (DIT) supported 85 investment projects in Wales, which generated 2,581 jobs.

Welsh companies exported more than £2 billion to the world’s largest economy in the year to September 2017.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “I’m delighted to see this Board of Trade delegation head across the Atlantic, seeking to attract investment into Wales – bringing prosperity, jobs and growth.

“As our largest trading partner, the US remains an enormously important market for Wales as well as the rest of the UK.

“The Department for International Trade’s expert advisers stand ready in 108 countries across the world, to support British companies to export and help overseas investors find the right partners in the UK.”

One of the many Welsh companies taking advantage of the trade mission and the opportunities available on the other side of the Atlantic is Halen Môn of Anglesey Sea Salt.

The North Wales company first started exporting in 2001 and found an American distributor shortly after.

Their sea salt is now exported to 22 countries around the world.

Co-founder of Halen Môn, Alison Lea-Wilson, said: “We have found exporting to the US an extremely positive process, and would urge other Welsh businesses to look to the market for the range of opportunities it offers.”