The Department for International Trade (DIT) South East showcased a selection of the region’s most innovative aerospace companies at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow.
The Airshow saw more than 80,000 trade visitors from an estimated 100 countries gather in the heart of the South East to visit exhibits, attend product briefings, conferences and demonstrations by organisations of all sizes.
This year’s show saw deals worth $192 billion (£146 billion), an increase of more than 50% compared to 2016.
The DIT stand provided an international shop window for the 16 firms, representing an invaluable opportunity to promote their expertise and technologies to the global aerospace industry and secure new export sales.
Ben Raby, head of the south east regional trade team, Department for International Trade, said: “This event was an unrivalled opportunity for South East businesses to show off the strength and diversity of their expertise in the aerospace sector.
“Our region is home to a wealth of internationally-significant aerospace engineering businesses, with particular strengths in the defence and space sectors, and they attracted a great deal of positive attention from the delegates.
“With the support of DIT staff around the world, South East firms are already enjoying great success overseas.
“There is no better time than now for companies new to exporting or thinking of expanding their international presence to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The stand was supported by Newable’s European Regional Development Fund projects, which aim to enhance the competitiveness of South East SMEs in international markets.
Companies visiting the stand were also able to speak with DIT South East International Trade Advisers, who were on hand to offer exporting advice.
The companies attended ‘meet-the-buyer’ events and received visits from international delegations and trade teams from Embassies and Chamber of Commerce from across the world.
The South East is home to 18 large aerospace companies and last year the region’s businesses operating in the sector generated £12.4 billion in turnover and 69,800 full time equivalent jobs, more than any other region in the UK.
The South East exported goods worth £45.5 billion last year, up 6.3% from the previous year, and the number of exporting firms grew 4% year-on-year to almost 17,500 in the first quarter of 2018. This translates as an average value of £652,000 per exporter.
Hans Karlsen of Karlsen Associates, who attended the show’s roundtable discussion, said: “DIT’s support for us and other businesses at the Airshow has been first class and being a part of the roundtable was a great opportunity to learn more about the export support available and ask questions too.
“Being given the opportunity to develop new relationships here under the DIT umbrella has been excellent and we have been able to obtain several promising leads for overseas markets.”
The DIT showcase was part of the UK government’s ongoing Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to inspire and support more UK companies to trade internationally.
Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at DIT, was among the attendees at the show and witnessed first-hand the range and quality of the UK’s exporting offer, meeting with a range of businesses and key stakeholders.
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