If you thought that travelling to Brisbane with UK Trade & Investment in November was a sneaky way to avoid the impending British winter, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite difficult trading conditions in the UK, there are still great opportunities in the global marketplace for UK rail companies.
Travelling with a UKTI delegation to the prestigious Ausrail exhibition was seen by the participating companies as a great way to gain a foothold in this particular market.
The remit of UK Trade & Investment is very simple: to help UK companies to export. With specialist commercial staff based in Embassies and Consulates in 96 countries around the world, UKTI is extremely well placed to facilitate market entry.
And, in order to make necessary overseas trips more affordable and productive, there is a system of grants and subsidised research that SMEs can apply for.
In the case of Ausrail, UKTI was able to secure a well-placed stand in the exhibition area which was shared by all seven participating companies.
Staff based in the Sydney Consulate were instrumental in attracting several high level individuals within the Australian rail sector to the stand – if the companies had been exhibiting individually this may not have been possible to achieve.
Amongst those exhibiting was Steve Brown from Derby based Tracsis:
“As a direct result of exhibiting at Ausrail with UKTI we have picked up a contract to supply consultancy services in support of a light rail project in Australia and are in active discussions with two Australian passenger operators regarding provision of software and services. We have also received further work from existing clients in New Zealand whom we were able to meet in person at AusRail.
“I have also been approached to write an article for Australian Rail Express magazine, so you could say that we achieved the outcomes that we set out to achieve, and some more besides.”
Also there was SW Global Resourcing’s Barry Sweeney:
“UK based rail company SWGR were delighted with the opportunity to travel to AusRail with the UKTI delegation. The company is looking to supply railway personnel at all levels to Australian companies.
“The support and guidance given to us by the UKTI staff, both here in the UK and in Australia, was second to none before, during and after the visit.
“Being present enabled us to access key market information and make crucial contacts across the Australian rail industry.
“Travelling as part of this group also ensured that we were able to analyse, debate and fully understand the requirements, opportunities and challenges that exist within the rail industry throughout Queensland and other states.
“SWGR made links with a number of companies who are now keen to investigate doing business with them moving forward into 2012.”
Globally, the rail sector is worth £125 billion, so continuing to capitalise on these opportunities is key for the many rail businesses based in the UK.
September 2012 will see Innotrans, the largest rail exhibition in the world, being held in Berlin. Following the Ausrail model, UKTI will have a stand at the exhibition with space for 10 companies.
This will give SMEs the chance to visit and exhibit at Innotrans at a greatly reduced rate. As part of the package, UKTI will also arrange appointments for participating companies with overseas contacts.
For further information on this exciting opportunity contact UKTI’s rail sector specialist Richard Burchell on 07825 426738.