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25 September 2003

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EuroConnect Promotes New Trade Deals

GPIA Chief Executive Gloria Milne

Around 1,000 business meetings were arranged between companies seeking to develop new trade deals throughout the UK and the rest of Europe during EuroConnect - the two-day business exchange event organised by Greater Peterborough Investment Agency.

UK Trade Minister Richard Caborn praised EuroConnect for putting Peterborough on the map when he performed the opening ceremony on Thursday 24 February.

"There are many export opportunities throughout the world for British companies in the three industry sectors - environment, agri-food and sustainable development - on which EuroConnect has focused.

"It is very important that we use the base of Europe - which is now our home base - to tackle exporting to the world. We must become more competitive in Europe."

Mr Caborn, who had just returned from a 12-day trade mission to Thailand, Taiwan and Korea, urged British small and medium sized companies to take full advantage of information technology and e-commerce to compete in world markets. He said the government was determined to create a "strong macro-economic framework" so that businesses had the confidence to invest for growth.

EuroConnect - organised under the auspices of the European Commission Interprise programme - was praised by EC coordinator Hans Schoof for being one of the biggest and most successful in the current programme.

A total of 70 UK companies reserved meeting booths at EuroConnect and more than 100 visitors travelled from 14 overseas countries to hold exploratory talks on possible trade opportunities. Delegates attended from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, plus the UK home nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.

GPIA chief executive Gloria Milne said: "EuroConnect has provided a wonderful environment in which companies can seize new business opportunities. Everyone has been very positive about prospects for developing new business as a result of contacts that have been made.

"Securing just one new deal would make the whole exercise worthwhile for each person who attended."

February 2000




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