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Let's take our skills to a world market

A global village

Back in the Sixties a phrase was coined about seeing the world as a “global village”. Over the past 50 years that perception has become more and more a reality and less and less a slogan. Holidays abroad are the norm for the majority of us. We’ve changed our eating patterns and tastes and enjoy going to restaurants that give us the flavour and atmosphere of a different country and its culture. We watch television programmes and films that transport us to exotic parts of the world and entertain us with stories about how differently and interestingly people live in other parts of the world.

What I’ve been saying about the British applies to people who live in other countries too. Whenever I travel abroad, I’m always astonished by the interest, and frequently fascination, that other countries show about our way of life, our institutions, and our history. They’re very knowledgeable about Britain and genuinely impressed by all the things that we have produced over the centuries, right through to the Harry Potter phenomenon! 

Taking the leap

Such interest is a spur to all local and regional businesses that have been developing a particular product or a particular type of service and have sold their goods to a domestic market. I agree it’s not easy to make that big leap into a rather unknown and unfamiliar world beyond our shores, and to believe that a successful domestic product could be turned into an even more successful and profitable export product.

However, it’s certainly worth a go. And you don’t have to do it on your own. Over roughly the past 10 years British organisations, including of course the government, have been working harder than ever before to cater for every type of business at every level of commerce and industry in order to equip businesses for taking their product to a foreign market place and successfully selling it there. The most important agency for providing such assistance is called UK Trade & Investment or UKTI for short. Because it is a government arm, it effectively has a network of organisations in every major city and town throughout the world where Britain is represented. Crucially though, you can make a start on thinking about exports much closer to home, by getting in touch with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce where you’ll be given advice, information and practical help concerning the bread and butter issues of doing trade internationally.

Thinking internationally

On our doorstep we have a university which is proud of its international outreach and credentials. There is no reason at all why our entire North Lancashire trading region cannot be inspired to think along international lines by having confidence in our design skills, our technological know-how and in our entrepreneurial drive and to help supplant the Germans – my fellow countrymen – as the “export world champions” of Europe. Just to return to the Sixties with which I introduced my article, let’s also be inspired by Wembley and the spirit of 1966!


For hands-on help with exporting, contact Eureko.


Chamber of Commerce


This article is part of the Chamber Chat series published in the Lancaster Guardian.

Posted: 8th March 2015

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