Over 20 companies from the South West of England attended the first ever Virtual Trade Missions to Mexico and Chile this month, with the last meetings taking place this week.
The aim of the forums was to help support independent businesses in the South West to grow their business through connecting with experts and potential customers in their sectors, accelerating their sales in Latin America.
Organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and led by Sarah Hildersley, DIT’s Market specialist for Latin America in the region, firms participated in briefing sessions with market experts and sector specialists as well as tailored one-to-one meetings.
Alex Sheen, Head of Sales at Sheppy’s Cider based in Somerset who attended the virtual trade mission to Chile comments:“DIT and their delivery partners, the British Chamber of Commerce in Chile, have been brilliant throughout the process of this initiative. I met credible distributors and speakers, helping me to develop new partnerships for exporting.
“Any company looking for help in developing their brands overseas should get involved in these events as they provide you with everything you need to be successful, and you have the opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t normally have access to.”
Total UK exports to Mexico amounted to £2.5bn in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2020 and is another market that South West businesses are keen to expand into.1
Total trade in goods and services between Chile and the UK for the year ending June 2019 was worth £2.2 billion, a 10.7% increase on the same period in 2018.2