Thames Valley goes global

'Open for Business' launch featuring COBCOE Connects

Thames Valley Chamber going global 2016International trade service users, members, importers, foreign owned companies and those looking to set up in the UK, were invited to attended Thames Valley Open for Business event at Ascot Racecourse on 30 May, at which the new global membership package was launched.

The new Global Membership package has been developed to add real value to members and includes membership of COBCOE Connects, the online platform for finding trusted partners in new markets matched to individual needs.

Glynis Whiting, COBCOE Vice Chair, explained how COBCOE Connects can take away the uncertainty and ensure business is conducted in a trusted environment. With chambers of commerce recognised around the world, COBCOE Connects can help companies to find the match, while facilitating transactions and offering services to assist businesses in growing globally.

The Thames Valley Chamber Global Membership package also includes inward investment services, participation in trade and policy investment agenda, trade related training and coaching as well as market entry support including free advisory sessions from Japanese and Chinese country specialists.

The Thames Valley ChambersGroup expects 2017 to be another record-breaking year for exporting. Paul Britton, CEO of Thames Valley Chamber said: “We know that companies that trade globally are more resilient and scale up faster. While we are proud that one in three chamber members trade internationally, only 1 in 11 companies in the UK trade overseas."

Pushing forward the Chamber’s message of local engagement, regional representation and global opportunity, Head of International Trade Anne White highlighted the the region’s ongoing success as one of the highest performing regions in Europe. It is  home to 11 of the world’s top 15 tech companies and is within the top five for economic potential, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness. 

She also revealed that Thames Valley is the leading exporting region valued at £42bn, making it truly is the powerhouse of the UK. 

Dr Kegang Wu, Market Specialist, China Desk, Thames Valley Chamber discussed how those looking to enter the marketplace could seek support, strategy input and briefing, commenting: “Both the Thames Valley region and China, particularly Guangdong, have much to offer each other.”

Masako Eguchi-Bacon, Associate on the Japan Desk at the Chamber added: “Japanese companies are becoming more open to new ideas and technologies from outside their own organisations, and “open innovation” has become a popular buzzword.” 

Anne White closed the event commenting: “We recognise many of the challenges trading globally brings and the key factors which drive inward investment decisions. Our new Global Membership offering helps overcome these challenges, facilitate introductions, improve efficiency and assist growth. It’s an exciting time for everyone in Thames Valley and there is plenty to look forward to over the coming months.”

Exhibitors at the event included the China and Japan Desks; Chamber partner, Business Keys and Generate UK, the Chamber’s digital transformation partner.

Pictured above (left to right): Dr Kegang Wu, Market Specialist, China Desk; Glynis Whiting, COBCOE Vice Chair and COBCOE Connects representative; Masako Eguchi-Bacon, Associate on the Japan Desk; Anne-Marie Martin, COBCOE Chief Executive; Anne White, Head of International Trade, Thames Valley Chamber; Paul Britton, CEO Thames Valley Chamber.

More information at

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