Livingston urges firms to explore overseas trade
North East companies have been urged to tap into overseas markets by trade and investment minister Lord Livingston during his visit to Tyneside.
The minister was visiting BEL Valves, part of the British Engines Group, to see the progress made on the company's £15m investment programme, which aims to create jobs and business growth in the area.
He said: "BEL Valves is a great example of a dynamic company which is growing its business through exporting.
"Increasing the number of UK businesses that sell overseas is integral to the government's long-term economic plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy.
"Last year companies from the North East contributed to the region's economic success with almost £12bn in exports. Companies in the North East wanting to export should contact UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) who can give them the support they need to get started."
Neil Kirkbride, chief executive at BEL Valves, added: "Recent figures from HMRC reveal the North East as the fastest growing region in England for export.
"This, alongside the fact the region has amongst the strongest manufacturing output and order books in the UK, shows that we really know how to make things happen in the North East.
"Fundamentally we are specialist engineers and we aim to retain the most talented professionals right here in the North East."
UKTI is set to team up with business organisations next month to host the latest Export Week initiative.
Previous Export Weeks have been attended by more than 17,000 companies from across the UK.