CommonwealthFirst has returned from its highly successful trade mission to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which saw our talented delegation of outstanding UK SMEs make new business and invaluable connections within the ASEAN region. The thirteen-person delegation was led by Richard Burge, the newly appointed Chief Executive of Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council with Export Champions representing industries of manufacturing, defense, health, technology, education, science, engineering and consulting.
The intensive programme commenced with a first stop in Kuala Lumpur where the Export Champions received a briefing at British High Commission before going on to meet the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and take part in a on-site visit to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). They then met with Mr Zaky Moh, Senior Director at the SME Development Corporation before meeting with Hon Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry.
The delegation then traveled to Singapore to receive a market opportunities briefing at the British High Commission Singapore and was hosted at an evening reception by the British Singapore Chamber of Commerce. The following day saw them meet with Daniel Kok, General Manager, International Chamber of Commerce Academy and Hon Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry. The visit was concluded with networking opportunities with Singapore entrepreneurs, hosted by Raymond Huang, Kairo Asia and a meeting with CEO, Singapore Business Federation, Mr Ho Meng Kit. Time was set aside for the Export Champions to engage in private meetings with potential regional clients and partners.
The visit to South East Asia was the second such SME trade mission and follows the successful inaugural venture last November to Delhi as part of the India-UK Tech Summit, attended by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
UK SMEs can apply to become part of the next cohort of CommonwealthFirst Export Champions via: www.commonwealthfirst.org. Applications close on 5th June.
This month we learn about the home of ‘The World’s Original Marmalade Awards’, fibreglass composite structures, innovative fire safety solutions and hospital and healthcare medical lighting.
SMEs drive entrepreneurialism, promote competition and innovation, and are in many ways the backbone of the UK economy. But, when it comes to the export market, they are collectively failing to maximise their potential with respect to exporting abroad. The UK performs poorly when it comes to SME-generated exports compared to exporting countries of comparable size. And it is estimated that anywhere between 25,000 and 150,000 currently non-exporting firms in the UK could, and should, be doing so. Read more